Canadian Politics

Canadian Politics:

In one sense, the Constitution of Canada is extremely old and in the other sense, this is new.

The Constitution Act of 1867 formerly termed as the British North America Act 1867 and still termed as informally as the BNA Act, is a main part of Canada's Constitution. The Act formed a federal dominion and explains much of the operation of the government of the country consisting of its bicameral legislature, its federal structure, the justice system, and the taxation system. The British North America Acts, comprising the 1867 Act, were renamed in the year 1982 along with the partition of the Canadian constitution to Canada.

A key feature of the Canadian political system is the dissimilarity among the largely French-speaking province of Quebec that has a large measure of autonomy and the rest of Canada that is overwhelmingly English-speaking. This time, the political pressures within Quebec for the region to secede from the remainder of Canada have been extremely powerful but currently seem to be additionally dormant.

The Executive Branch:

Canada is a constitutional monarchy therefore the “Head of State” is the monarch of the United Kingdom (UK), currently Queen Elizabeth II. The monarch exercises power by a Governor-General at federal level plus Lieutenant Governors at provincial level and Commissioners at territory level. The Governor-General is advised through the Prime Minister (PM) and the Cabinet and through convention serves on this advice.

As Canada has a huge cultural cleavage between Anglophone and Francophone citizens, the position of Governor-General is allocated alternately to an English speaker and a French speaker.

For each practical reason, though, the head of the executive is the Prime Minister who through convention is the leader of the largest party in the “House of Commons”. At present it is Stephen Harper who heads the Conservative Party. The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) is a key feature of the Canadian power structure and over the years, the Prime Minister's Office has been observed as increasingly powerful.

The Prime Minister appoints a Cabinet that by convention generally comprises at least one minister per province. Since in the British model of government, Ministers usually come from one of the two chambers of the legislature and whether they are not previously in the Commons or the Senate, they will rapidly be nominated or voted respectively. Again since in the British model, the size of the Cabinet is a issue for the Prime Minister and thus fluctuates from the lower 20s to almost 40.

The Cabinet is termed to either in relation to the prime minister in charge of this or additionally formal, the number of ministries as Confederation in the 1867 year. The present cabinet is the Harper Cabinet that is part of the twenty-ninth Ministry; membership of the Cabinet and the Ministry may not be the same.

As the United States (US), Canada is one of the few countries which locate its parliament and government in a political capital which is not its main city; consequently it is in Ottawa and not Toronto.

The House of Commons:

In the political system of Canadian, the lower chamber is the House of Commons that takes its title from the lower house in the British political system. The Commons comprises 308 members termed as: like their British counterparts: Members of Parliament (MPs).

Members are voted through the first-past-the-post system like in Britain in all of the country's electoral districts that are colloquially termed as ridings constituencies in Britain. Seats in the House of Commons are distributed approximately in proportion to the population of all province and territory, although several ridings are more populous than others and the Canadian constitution comprises some particular provisions about provincial representation.

The maximum term of MPs is four years although this is ordinary for a common election to be named after a lesser duration.

Since in the British political model, the House of Commons is much and more powerful of the two chambers. Even though all legislation has to be approved through both chambers, in practice the will of the voted House generally prevails over that of the appointed Senate. The conventions and processes of the Commons reflect extremely those of its British namesake.

The House of Commons chamber is assigned in the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa.
The Senate:

The upper chamber, in the Canadian political system is the Senate that takes its name from the upper house in the American political system.

The Senate consists of 105 members appointed through the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. Seats are located on a regional basis, along with all of the four main regions receiving twenty-four seats and the keeping nine seats being allocated to smaller areas.

The four main areas are the province of Ontario that has 24 seats, the province of Quebec has 24 seats, the Maritime Provinces have 10 each for Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and four for Prince Edward Island, and also the Western provinces have 6 each for Manitoba, British Alberta, Columbia and Saskatchewan. The seats for the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (6) and the territories of the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut (1 for each) are allocated apart from such regional divisions.

Quebec senators are the merely ones to be allocated to particular districts inside their province. Historically, it was adopted to make sure that both English and French-speaking senators from Quebec were represented suitably in the Senate.
Senators may serve till they reach the age of seventy-five.

Though the approval of both chambers is essential for all legislation, the Senate rarely refuses bills passed through the directly voted Commons.

Currently merely Alberta holds votes for the selection of its senators. However, the Conservatives are in the process of trying, for a 5th time legislatively to reform the Senate. The newest effort would set a not renewable for nine-year time limit and also prescribe a process in which provinces and territories could vote for senators who would after that be known for appointment.

If the essential legislation is passed and survives the court challenge, Quebec is promising to mount, Senate of Canada will begin to see and act very dissimilarly than it has for the past century and a half. Opponents of modify fear that a more legitimized Senate would serves as a challenge to the House of Commons and could result in the sort of legislative gridlock that one observes in the American political system.

Political Parties:

There are merely five political parties illustrated in the current legislature as:

  • The Conservative Party that is on the Right of the political spectrum
  • The Recent Democratic Party that is a social democratic party of the Left
  • The Liberal Party that is somewhere among Centre and Centre-Left
  • The Bloc Quebecois that only operates in the province of Quebec and favours secession of the province from the rest of Canada
  • The Green Party that only holds a particular seat

In Canada, particularly in recent years, party discipline has been extremely strictly enforced along with all MPs expected to election in accordance along with party policy: still more strictly than is the case in the British House of Commons. This practice of extreme party discipline is quite innovative and has had several commentators say as it is the era of "prime ministerial dictatorship".

The Liberal Party: colloquially termed as the Grits; has dominated federal politics for a lot of Canada's history, holding power for almost sixty-nine years in the 20th century, additionally than any one party in a developed country. Conversely, in the General Election of May 2011, this suffered terrible losses and for the exceptional in its history, was pushed in third place.

Traditionally the first past the post electoral system, as utilized in elections to the House of Commons, is related with majority governments. For a lot of years, the Liberal Party was observes as the natural party of government and won majorities in the common elections of the 1993, 1997 and 2000 year. Latterly, conversely, Canada has had a succession of minority governments since a result of a failure through any other party to gain the whole majority in the elections of 2004, 2006 and 2008 year. This changed in the year 2011 while Canadians voted a majority Conservative Government.

The Judiciary:

The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court and last authority on criminal, civil and constitutional issues.

The court's nine members are appointed through the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister and Minister of Justice and provide till the age of seventy-five. In recent years, an actual effort has been made to create the court geographically representative. Thus the convention is as three from Ontario and two from Western Canada, three judges come from Quebec and one from the Atlantic Provinces.

As 2000, the court has been led through the Right Honorable Madam Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, who was the first female Chief Justice.

All provinces operate their own individual court system. The country's legal system is based mostly upon English common law but, in the province of Quebec, this is modeled upon French civil law.

The Canadian Charter of Freedoms and Rights is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada that forms the first part of the Constitution Act 1982. The Charter guarantees specific political rights to Canadian citizens and civil rights of everybody in Canada. The Charter concerned to government laws and actions but consisting of the laws and actions of federal, provincial and municipal governments and also public school boards, and occasionally to the general law, although not to private activity.
The courts, while confronted along with violations of Charter rights, have struck down unconstitutional federal and provincial statutes and regulations in entire or in part.

The Provinces:

Canada is vast territory: the second largest in the world and understandably manages a federal political system. It divides governmental duty among the federal government and the 10 provinces. The key to knowing Canadian politics is an appreciation of the complicated interplay of power among the federal centre and the provinces.

The provinces are: Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Quebec. All the provincial legislatures are unicameral and manage in parliamentary fashion same to the House of Commons at federal level. Sine along with federal elections, the voting system is ‘first past the post’.

Canada's three territories the Northwest Territories, Yukon and Nunavut: also have legislatures, although these are not sovereign and have fewer constitutional tasks than the provinces and several structural dissimilarities.

The ten provinces and three territories come mutually in the Council of the Federation, the creation of that was announced in the December 2003 year in Charlottetown. The Council was created through Premiers since "they believe it is significant for provinces and territories to play a leadership task in revitalizing the Canadian federation and construct a more cooperative and constructive federal system".

A constant tension among the federal centre and the provinces is the desire through the provinces for a superior share of the revenues from federal taxes.

A more exacting tension is among the French-speaking province of Quebec where there is a important separatist sentiment and every the other English-speaking provinces. This condition was aggravated in the September 2012 year along with the election of a minority Party Quebecois administration in Quebec on just 32 percent of the vote.

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