Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Parliament (NLYP)
The Newfoundland and Labrador Youth Parliament (NLYP) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization, run entirely by youth, and dedicated to bringing the experience of parliamentary democracy to the youth of Newfoundland and Labrador.
The aims of the NLYP are to educate youth about the institutions of Parliament and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy, to provide a forum for youth on issues concerning society, and to help youth develop their skills in public speaking and debate.
The House of Assembly of the NLYP meets in session once a year. Its Members range in age from about 16 to 23 and come from all over Newfoundland and Labrador. In session, a Government introduces resolutions on various issues. The resolutions are critiqued by the Opposition, and ultimately debated and voted on by the Members. Individual Members are also able to present their own resolutions on both serious and light topics.
In Youth Parliament, Members are free to vote as they see fit. The absence of party lines is the single biggest difference between Youth Parliament and actual legislatures. The Government and Opposition blocs are made up of only the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, which are small and equal in size. All other Members are independent and thus hold the balance of power.
The NLYP follows its own Acts of Parliament (bylaws) and Standing Orders (rules of Procedure). It also relies on the Standing Orders and practices of the House of Assembly and House of Commons, and reference texts like Beauchesne's Rules and Forms of the House of Commons of Canada, to make judgements on procedureal matters.
The Acts of Parliament governing the opposition of the NLYP are established by passing bills in the Parliament, using a process similar to that of Canadian legislatures. This way, constitutional authourity over the organization is held by the youth who participate in it.
The Members are also responsible for electing persons to the Board of Directors after every session, who then in turn choose from among themselves the Executive.
The NLYP also has a Senate, whose members are Youth Parliament alumni. Senators are appointed by the House, usually being alumni who have distinguished themselves during their participation in Youth Parliament.
For more information check us out on the web at www.nlyp.ca