The Lieutenant Governor
The Lieutenant Governor is the Queen's representative in Alberta. Constitutional duties of the Lieutenant Governor include ensuring that the province always has a Premier so that there is continuity in governance, opening and closing each Legislature Session and granting Royal Assent to measures and Bills passed by the Assembly to give them the force of law.
His Honour, Col. (Ret'd.) The Honourable Donald S. Ethell is the current Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.
The Premier is the head of government in Alberta. The leader of the political party with the most seats in the Legislative Assembly becomes the Premier. While the Premier does not need to be a Member of the Legislative Assembly to lead the province, he does need to be an MLA to sit in the Legislature and participate in debate.
The Honorable Jim Prentice is the Premier of Alberta, President of Executive Council and Chair of the Agenda and Priorities Committee.
Executive Council is made up of the Premier and cabinet ministers. Its role is to put government policy into practice. The Premier is the head of Executive Council, and chooses cabinet ministers from elected members of his party.
Cabinet is the framework in which members of Executive Council do their work. Beyond approving Orders in Council, Cabinet ratifies policy matters and is the final authority on issues related to the day-to-day operation of government. The Premier chairs Cabinet.
The Speaker directs debates and proceedings in the Legislative Assembly. The Speaker is an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly. At the beginning of the first Legislative session after an election, all MLAs vote for the Speaker by secret ballot.
The Honourable Gene Zwozdesky is the Speaker of the House. He is also the MLA for the riding of Edmonton-Mill Creek.
The Opposition is made up of MLAs that are not part of the governing party. The role of the Opposition is to criticize government activity, propose improvements, and present itself to the public as an alternative to the party in office.
Alberta currently has three opposition parties. The Wildrose Party has the most opposition seats in the Assembly. It is called the Official Opposition. The Alberta Liberal Party and Alberta New Democratic Party also sit in opposition.
Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs)
Members of the Legislative Assembly are elected by Albertans to make the laws they live by.