Lexique Des Termes Parlementaires En
Usage En Belgique, En France Et Au Quebec, National Assembly of Quebec, 1986,
The purpose of this glossary is to compare
certain terms used in three French language Parliaments Quebec, France and
Belgium. The same term may have different or slightly different meanings from
one parliament to another. For example the meaning of, "loi constitutionnelle",
"ministre d'État", "projet e loi" and many other terms
varies according to the jurisdiction. Conversely terms such as,
"trône" and "perchoir", "clôture" and
'guillotine"; "mort au feuilleton" and "caducité" mean
the same thing according to the Legislature. One can imagine the confusion that
could result from misuse of a term.
The glossary includes terms unique to each
system, for example, "Conseil de la communauté français" (Belgium),
"Congrès du Parlement" (France), "tiers parti" (Quebec), Certain
other terms are identified with only one country although it is unclear whether
they also exist elsewhere. Among these terms are "orateur" (Belgium,
France), recueil des notices et portraits" (France), "décision"
(Quebec), "étude des crédits" (Quebec), "projet de loi d'intérêt
privé" (Quebec). Moreover it is not self-evident that other terms such as
"favoritisme" or "lobby" are used exclusively in Quebec.
Unfortunately the authors did not make a more systematic comparison or at least
explain the parameters of their study, particularly in areas where linguistic
intuition or a knowledge of parliamentary procedure would suggest there should
be corresponding terms.
Aside from these shortcomings, the glossary
covers the essential terms in the parliamentary process. The organization and
arrangement of the data is well done and easy to use. It includes some 372
entries arranged in alphabetical order followed by an index of all terms
mentioned in the text. Each entry is accompanied by a clear and concise definition
including an indication of the different meanings for each country where the
term is used. These are often followed by relevant explanatory notes and cross
Mistakes in usage are indicated giving the
glossary a normative dimension. Certain terms and entries in the index are in
quotation marks but the use of quotes is not always consistent. For example
they are used differently in the case of "trombinoscope",
"simple député", "Haute assemblée" and "redistribution
des sièges". Perhaps the authors could have clarified their practice.
Publication of this glossary was a joint
parliamentary project. The authors, Jean-Pierre Bloch (Paris), Claude Remy
(Bruxelles) and Gaston Deschênes (Quebec), are members of the legislative staff
in their respective parliaments. Perhaps this type of project could be extended
to other parliaments where French is an official language.
Adèle Lessard, University of Ottawa, Ottawa