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POLI 204 Notes.docx

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Political Sc
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POLI 204
Michael Temelini

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POLI 204- Intro to Canadian Politics Fall 2012 September 6, 2012  Very few governments do not have three branches. I. Westminster Model: The British Parliamentary System  Canadian Government: 3 branches o Legislative Branch- Parliament o Parliament (federal), assemblee nationale (Quebec): makes laws, policy, creates armed forces, authorizes budget (tax, spending) o Executive Branch- Queen Elizabeth II, Governor General, Government (Prime Minister or Premier, and Cabinet)  Puts into effect and enforces obedience to laws, commands armed forces, administers taxation, spending o Judiciary- Courts o Resolves conflicts when laws are not obeyed or with disagreement over what the law means II. Concepts:  State, sovereignty o When did Canada become a state?  A state has sovereignty  Jackson and Jackson describe internal and external sovereignty  No precise moment in history you can point to where Canada became an independent state and achieved sovereignty III. Sovereignty  Is said to exist when these powers exist over a given population and within a given territory  A) make, amend, repeal laws  B) enforce laws, coercion if necessary  C) economic power: money (legal tender, interest rate) or public spending and investment  D) international relations: recognition of equality with other states, non interference in domestic affairs, capacity to enter into relations with other states  Weber: exists when sovereign power successfully claims the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical force in the enforcement of its order within a territory IV. What is a constitution?  Supreme law of state, defines and limits political power o Basic formal rules, governing principles by which state organized o Depicts organization of gov’t and constrains its action o Above all: embodies rule of law o Fairness: protects citizens from abusive state power  Kinds: written vs unwritten o Unwritten: no single formal document o Collection fundamental principles so firmly entrenches that no formal doc outlining them necessary (e.g. Magna Carta 1215, Habeas Corpus Act 1679) o Includes conventions: constitutional rules that are accepted practice without being written in constitution (e.g. responsible gov’t) September 13, 2012  Canadian Constitution: Hybrid o Canada is a hybrid o Written constitution:  Centerpiece: BNA Act  Other docs: Royal Proclamation, Statute of Westminster o Unwritten:  Important rules evolved in British, colonies many centuries before 1867 (e.g. PM and cabinet, political parties, responsible government) nd  Example: American 2 amendment to bear arms does not say citizens are allowed to have their own arms: Judicial interpretation is very important in understanding the constitution  Just because something is not written does not mean it is not law, especially when there is precedence in a case. Bad? Good? Might be better if there is a clearer legal system  Constitution set-up o Constitutional democracy (JJ 26)  Constitution shapes and limits political power  Defines the power of those chosen to govern us  Not just democracy, but a constitutional democracy where the constitution limits certain things, which can protect minorities etc, limits the power of the masses/majority to do whatever they want. o Constitutional monarchy (not republic)  Constitution provides for hereditary head of state: King or Queen of Canada  As a constitutional monarch, Queen abides by decisions of the Canadian government.  Why is the queen head of state? Because the constitution says so. The power of the Queen is limited by the constitution, and if “we” didn’t want her to be the queen, the constitution could be amended.  Treaty of Paris, Feb 10 1763 o Formally ended 7 years war o New France formally ceded to Britain: “les canadiens” became British subjects o Britain hence controlled all North America, East and North of Mississippi River, except St. Pierre and Miquelon (still= France today) o Effects of conquest: roots of “Canadien” nationalism o 1 constitution: Oct 17, 1763 Royal Proclamation o 1 gov’ts: Governors + advisors (appointed council) o Outcome: begin to see the outline/border of British-controlled North America as it is now, esp after 1759 where Britain conquers Quebec and thus changes the huge territory of “New France” o Britain has issue: most conquered people are Catholic, and since British swear an oath to the Anglican queen, Catholicism is outlawed in FB. o Anglo-conformity (racist) view that eventually everyone would want to abandon their language and religion.  The Royal Proclamation, 1763 o 1. Aboriginal Land and Title (land not yet ceded/purchased) o 2. First constitution of Canada o 3. Unfulfilled Promise of Representative gov’t o 4. Establish English Courts of Justice (criminal and civil law) o Problems/criticisms:  Aim: to assimilate francophone Roman Catholic population (70- 90,000)  No representative assembly as promised (appointed council) o Power to small minority 600 English settlers, or French majority? o British law prohibited Catholics (and aboriginals) from franchise/office: assembly would have represented very small minority o Merchants/traders angry about reserve land o First nations: supposed to protect use and occupation but “… a vague document that belied the harsh treatment Natives would later receive.”  Conflict: ownership vs use: who owns land? Sovereignty?  Paternalism twd natives o 1763 “Proclamation line” is the border between English speakers: failed, because no one wanted to go north, they wanted to go west for the fur trade.  The Quebec Act, 1774 o 1. Government: full authority in Governor, appointed council (En & Fr) o 2. Roman Catholic Church given official sanction  Legal recognition, free worship, right to be appointed to civil office (council) o 3. Territory/Borders  Extend rich fur-trading area Ohio-Mississippi valley (former French empire)  Commerce: Quebec merchants exploit fur trade without competition from NY merchants o Law  English criminal law replaced French penal code (theft, murder)  French law- civil matters (private law) o Big issue: Americans wanted independence as well and “no taxation without representation” especially because in Quebec, because a government was established with just a governor and an advising council so that the Roman Catholic majority could not exercise their power o Language not yet a political issue, but more religion: Quebec is one of the largest places for the Irish exodus because they were welcome in Quebec o British wanted to secure loyalty of Canadiens: thirteen colonies of the US started declaring independence o “Colonies” of Canada not tempted to join Americans: would they recognize their law/religion like the Brits did? Not sure. o Problems/Criticisms  1. No language guarantees- language not an issue until later on  2. Abandon idea of elected (representative) assembly o Full authority- governor and appointed advisory council o Infuriated English merchants and settlers in 13 colonies  3. American merchants angry with new border- most lucrative resource of North America was handed to Quebec  4. Reaction- 13 colonies: o Declaration of Independence & Revolution- 1774 denounced as one of “Intolerable Acts”- object to limits on west expansion, etc. September 20, 2012  Implications of US Independence (1738 Treaty) o New border  Continent divided between USA and Britain  North: St-Croix River. West: all lands south of Great Lakes ceded to US o Population  Refugee crisis: United Empire loyalists flee USA o Constitutionalism  New provinces, and amended Quebec Act- 3d constitution since 1759-60  Constitutional Act, 1791 o Borders  Quebec  Partitioned  Two ethnic communities where Ottawa River meets St. Lawrence  Recognize two ethnic communities, language cultures  Province of Upper Canada (west, now Ontario)  Accommodate mainly Anglophone protestants UE Loyalist immigrants (who shaped Canadian politics well into 20 century)  English civil law and institutions  Province of Lower Canada (East, now Quebec)  Accommodate francophone Catholic Canadiens  Could retain French civil law  Right granted to RC church in 1774 (still governed under terms of Quebec Act) o Institutions  Democratic reform- elected assembly UC & LC  Elected Leg Assembly (representative government) political system includes free elections (same right as other British subjects in North America)  Catholics- right to run and vote for assembly members  Colonial parliaments  Executive Branch o Governor + executive council (appointed by British Crown) o Britain- power to veto any laws  Leg Branch o Legislative council (appointed upper house) o Leg assembly (elected lower house)- w/ taxation power o Problems  General problems:  1) Control- revenues and expenses. Assemblies control taxation nut governors spend without consulting assembly  2) Overlapping authority: British and provincial parliaments  3) Executive not responsible to elected assembly- non- elected had veto powers: Government and appointed executive council  4) No French language protection  Elected- no real power  Despite elected assembly, no responsible government  British governor advised by executive council he chose  Government advisors: not from legislative assemblies but social elite o Executive branch (Governor, executive council)  Financial, constitutional- independent of legislative  Power to overrule, dissolve elected assembly  Worse: executive was oligarchy o Family Compact and Chateau Clique  Positions to small group friend, family of governor, same conservative ideology  Men in authority acted in own interest  Responsible Government- “The democratic core of the British Parliamentary government: o “Under this principle, the executive power of the government legally is vested in the Crown or the Crown’s representative, the governor general or lieutenant-governor.” o “The political rule or constitutional convention, however, is that the Crown does not act on its own initiative but on the advice (direction of) the ministers who have the support of a majority in the elected house.” o Representative government:  Legislative branch includes assembly- represents citizens  Law-making authority- result of free elections o Responsible government:  Elected members of leg branch are supreme  Crown detached from partisan politics  Executive branch (Governor and advisers) answer to elected members of legislative branch  Government power only with majority support (confidence) of elected assembly  Elected assembly controls revenues  Make Crown non-partisan, non-political  In other words, separate executive:  Formal executive: Crown/governor  Political executive- Cabinet (members of parliament= government) o Give advice to Crown/Governor o Governors must abstain from deliberations of their political advisors and they must act on their recommendations  Rebellions in Upper and Lower Canada: o Lower Canada: 1837 Papineau o Upper Canada: William Lyon Mackenzie  Rebellions suppressed  Consequence: entrenched constitutional monacrcjy o British response: 1838 send Lord Durham  Governor of all BNA (except Newfoundland)  Investigate rebellions, report  Stayed few months- famous 1839 report  Lord Durham’s Report: o “two nations warring in the bosom of a single state” o Two key recommendations: amend Constitutional Act of 1791  Boundary: Province of Canada  Join UC and LC one province, Canada  Aim: assimilate Franch Canadians, eliminate as political force  Democratic Reform:  Responsible government with representation by population (rep by pop)  English bias, hated in French Canada but also a radical democrat: helped establish responsible government and shape Confederation 28 years later  British Response:  Reject responsible government with “rep by pop”  Accept to re-unite Canada: new constitution September 27, 2012 th  Act of Union: 4 constitution. Feb 1841: United Province of Canada o Reunite 2 Canadas as 1 political unit (but each retain own version of laws). 2 regions:  Canada West (Former upper Canada, now Ontario)  Canada East (Former lower Canada, now Quebec) o English- sole official language of record (but 1848 both equal, in part due to LaFontaine) o No “rep by pop”: each region equal members in united assembly (favors West+English) o Creates new constitutional order for non-Atlantic colonies- not representing by population was to help upper Canada that was outnumbered by lower Canada, giving Anglophones help o In reaction, created francophone solidarity and a strengthened political movement to vote the same way, tradition continues today.  Problem with Act of Union: No responsible government (RG) o Executive not responsible: governors pick executive council (advisers, cabinet) without confidence o 1846 GB changes policy: agree with RG o Governor must choose as Cabinet (=Government) politicians who get confidence o Reform movements:  NS: Howe 1 responsible government in BNA: 1848  Prov. Of Canada:  West (R Baldwin), East (LaFontaine) join- demand responsible government  1848 victory- Reform Party one of most significant in history:  1848 LaFontaine- Baldwin Joint premiers- 1 of such alliance  Nova Scotia: first to have responsible government o Lafontaine and others refuse to speak English, entire assembly becomes dual: dual prime ministers (one French, one Anglophone), dual legislative, etc. Records were bilingual, etc. Passing a law required a double majority of 42 of Canada West and 42 of Canada East, in part because of bloc voting by francophones  What is Responsible Government? o “the government” = the political executive/cabinet  division: formal executive (Crown, Governor)+ political executive (ministers, cabinet)  Also called cabinet gov’t  Powers of Crown exercised by Ministers/Cabinet  Prime minister and ministers appointed by Crown= the government, the ministry or the Cabinet  PM+ Ministers (gov’t) hold office as long as have confidence of majority of those in elected assembly.  What happened when government loses confidence?  2 possibilities: o PM+ gov’t must resign so new gov’t can be formed or: o Gov’t does not resign, but requests general election o Confidence convention  Gov’t must always have confidence of majority of members of elected assembly. “This one rule is the foundation of our democratic system, from which everything else derives:.  Name of this rule: confidence convention  Rule: gov’t responsible to elected house (e.g. House of Commons) to use powers, governs only so long as has support of elected majority  Leg branch- important power: control budget/finances  Remember: basic principle is parliamentary majority rule- majority elected members of parliament rule  No minority has right to govern: gov’t by definition has support of the majority  Basic premise of responsible government: when you have confidence, you can govern. First test of confidence: throne speech. Also any economic thing: if budget fails, you lose confidence. Government can designate any law as a confidence vote. (Read commentary)  One of most misunderstood things: what happens when a government loses confidence? Either government resigns or it doesn’t resign. If it does resign, another government replaces it. There is always a government, even during elections.  The Road to Confederation, 1867: Even with ResponsibleGovernment, other problems and challenges in BritishNorthAmerica o 1. Political impasse/deadlock- Canada  increasing demand for autonomy/self-government, to accommodate French-Canadian culture/language  1850’s- divided parliament- impossible for any gov’t to retain confidence o 2. Security threat- US post-civil war expansion  UK supported losing side (1861-1865)  UK tired of colonial burden- declining interest in defending dominions o 3. Dominion from sea to sea: economic potential of west o 1864: Two conferences on political union:  Sept: Charlottetown, PEI  Oct.: Quebec City: resolutions provide basis Confederation o 1866: 3/5 dominion agree ( Not PEI or NFDLD)  Prov. Of Canada (1867 renamed Ontario and Quebec)  New Brunswick, Nova Scotia o 1867: UK parliament passes British North America (BNA) Act effective July 1, 1867  The BNA Act, July 1 1867: 5 Constitution, Dominion of Canada o 1867 British North America Act (now Constitution Act of 1867) creates Dominion of Canada o Aim: political union and self-government or autonomy of dominions, but not their sovereignty o Territorial changes: 4 provinces: resurrection of Quebec, creation of Ontario, with New Brunswick, Nova Scotia o BNA Act: “Three fundamental cornerstones: of Canadian system of Gov’t enshrined in constitution  1. Rule of Law  2. Federalism  federal/provincial division of powers  3. Representative and democratic Resp Gov’t  gov’t must have confidence  gov’t must resign or call election when defeated  Ministers exercise powers of crown (cabinet gov’t- crown is detached)  Federalism vs. Other Systems o Unitary system: concentrated sovereignty in 1 state  A. simple unitary state  B. devolved unitary state (devolution) o Federalism: divided sovereignty in 1 state  A. uniform federalism (centralized and decentralized)  B. asymmetrical federalism o Confederation: equal sovereign states o Anarchy: no sovereign central gov’t: international system of sovereign states o Unitary:  A. One level sovereignty/political authority: powers concentrated 1 central government  B. central gov’t alone gives powers to cities, provinces  Examples: 150+ countries: (France, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, Japan)  Devolution: step to decentralization: grant legislative powers, not entrenched in constitution- can be abolished  Example: UK: Northern Ireland, 1921-1972, Wales, Scotland o Confederations  Loose alliance, sovereign states band together for narrow reasons  Sovereignty not divided: maintained by member-states  Is Canada a confederation? No. Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, etc, were not sovereign states, do not count as a confederation and most constituents were very against confederation.  Federalism o Divided sovereignty: divided jurisdiction/authority- at least 2 levels of gov’t over same territory, people. Usually:  1 central gov’t (federal, national)  2/more sub-central gov’ts (states, provinces)  Powers, responsibilities divided between levels  Definition implies:  A. Sovereignty divided (not concentrated)  B. Each level- complete authority over sphere of activity “on which it makes final decisions:  C. Maybe concurrent jurisdiction  No ideal way authority divided, but each level has degree of autonomy (some sovereign powers)  Important thing about federalism: each level is autonomous and does not need permission from other levels to pass laws etc., constitution guarantees autonomous local government, unlike in devolution where power is handed down from government instead of delineated in constitution. o Federal Constitution: Umpire  Various levels derive respective powers from constitution (formal agreement) not from each other  Federal principle must be enshrined  Purpose of constitution:  Precisely outline powers of each level e.g. BNA Act  On matter within exclusive law-aking authority granted by constitution, provinces do not need approval of Canadian Parliament, neither does Parliament need approval of provinces o Varieties of Federalism  Centralized  More power concentrated in central government  Central dominates/encroaches  Provinces subordinate  Decentralized (e.g. Switzerland)  More power dispersed among sub-central governments  Sub-unit governments dominate  Asymmetrical (p 154, 156)  Different sub-governments have different powers  = non uniform or diverse federalism o Constitution Act, 1867: federal principle  Exclusive powers- parliament of Canada: Section 91- “Peace, Order, & Good Government”  29 powers: banking, currency, citizenship, defense, postal, census, unemployment, criminal law  Residual powers (compare to USA state, “people themselves”)  Section 132 treaty obligations  Exclusive powers of provinces:  92: 16 powers incl: hospitals (health), municipalities (cities)  92-a: Natural resources (but see subsections 2-3)  93: Education  109: lands, mines, minerals, royalties  Concurrent Powers  S.95 Agriculture, immigration  But fed laws take precedence is Canada and province conflict o The BNA Act: Cities and Territories  A. Cities 92(8)  Quasi-subordinate, not autonomous (unlike Germany/USA)  Subject to provincial statute  Territories (Yukon, NWT, Nunavut)  Not provinces- subject to federal statute  Unlikely to attain provincial status o Original intention to centralize: pre-eminence of federal parliament  Residual clause- “peace, order, and good government” (POGG)- only pertains to extraordinary emergency/ etc. Very rare instances in which this clause was used, and eventually parliament stopped usin
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