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PSCI 2003 (23)
J Malloy (18)

Sept. 18, 2012.docx

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Political Science
PSCI 2003
J Malloy

September 18, 2012 Historical and Institutional Foundations Living Institutions  How do they shape us?  Our electoral system?  How does the Federal-Provincial division of powers shape things? Universities = provincial, canals = federal 1. The Partly Written Constitution  Constitution: The underlying rules and norms or a society or organization  May not always be written down  Canadian constitution is not one document  Two types of constitution-making styles (P. Russel Chapter 54 in Essential Readings)  Lockean – contractual and agreed upon (America)  Burkean -Traditional, organic, evolving, lots of unwritten agreements (Britain)  Constitutions may be written, unwritten, or partly written (Canada) America  Single, written constitution (1789)  Constitution is venerated, often brought up in rhetoric (Video of Senator Robert Byrd on why the US shouldn't go to war with Iran)  Centre of political environment Canada  Partly written constitution of Canada p. 424 Dyck  Multiple constitutional documents  Constitution Act 1867 (British North America Act)  Constitution Act 1982 (Charter of Rights and Freedoms included)  Many others  Unwritten conventions ◦ Eg. formation of government (Are coalition governments legitimate?) ◦ Prime Minister – No job description ◦ Interpreted by the judiciary branch 2008 Coalition/Prorogation incident, Pg 550  Oct. 2008 – General Election, results in second Harper minority  Nov. 2008 – Economic Update, sudden and controversial proposals, austerity program, wage freezes for public servants, get rid of subsidies to political parties  Opposition planned to defeat gov. In HoC and form coalition government  PM argued this was not legitimate, no electoral mandate for coalition  PM asked GG to prorogue Parliament to avoid non-confidence vote  An example of a political situation with no written guidelines or rules due to our unwritten constitution 2. Canada as a Historic Accident  Aboriginal Origins  French and British colonialism ◦ Canada as part of a global imperial game ◦ British victory over France in 1763 ◦ Growing discontent in 13 colonies (USA)  Founding documents/events ◦ 1763 - Royal proclamation (Appeased Aboriginals. Most important document for aboriginal land claim rights, Britain wanted the Aboriginals to side against the Americans. It gave Aboriginals a direct relationship with the crown that promised to respect their land rights.) ◦ 1791, Constitution Act (Appeased loyalists, who had argued for representative government and separation from Quebec. As a result of their demands, representative (but not responsible) government was introduced, and Upper and Lower Canada were established ◦ 1774 – Quebec Act – (Appeased French Canadians. Promised to preserve Catholic institutions, preserve civil law and preserve language) ; ◦ 1838 – Lord Durham's Report * ◦ 1848 – Responsible Government** ◦ 1867 – Confederation*** Rebellions and the Durham Report (Pg. 29)
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