BC Question Period on Video
Often all we see are news clips of opposition and government members sparring in daily Question Period. The best way to really understand how Question Period works (and why you are writing Question Period Notes for your Minister) is to watch videocasts of an entire session of daily Question Period.
The Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia provides archived videocasts of proceedings. For example, here’s a link to the out the April 29, 2010 Oral Question Period proceedings in the BC Legislature. It leads with Opposition Leader Carole James’ question on the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which is answered by the Honourable Colin Hansen, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier.
Note that Ms. James reads from briefing notes for her original and two supplemental questions. Although the Minister of Finance does not read from notes, you may observe him looking down (perhaps at notes) on the second supplemental. You might also observe, as the camera pulls back into longer views, the briefing materials on the Minister’s desk. Later on, in reponse to the Member from Stikine’s question, the Minister of Finance reads from notes some quotes from the forest sector. The content most likely will have been provided by departmental officials and staff in the Minister’s office.