Government of Canada – Sept 22
Topic Four: The House of Commons – Dignified of Efficient
Canadian government is based on the rule of law.
Within representative legislative bodies, laws are created and legitimized.
Parliament is the centre of the institutional complex constitution the Canadian state.
House of Common = Grand Inquest of the nation – the one place where all
citizens are represented.
Body which the political members of the executive branch of government
(PM and cab) turn for justification and approval
Chamber: must appear in person to explain/defend what they’re doing
Fundamental importance: representative character – it can speak, as no
other body in the democracy can pretend to speak, for the people.
Many functions, two of overriding importance.
o 1)to provide the government with its political legitimacy
o 2) represent the electorate
o Aka, Representation and Accountability
“HOC fails in both these purposes.”
“One person, one vote”
o Basic principle but holds fundamental discrepancies
o Territory, constituencies, voter preference of party, social
It controls the govt, can check the govt.
When we have a majority government, it’s like a ventriloquist dummy.
Keeping/Holding governments accountable
Configurations of Power
Characteristics of the HoC
Strong party discipline
o Golden age of parliament
o Simultaneous elections in 1878
o Rise of disciplined parties
Does reform mean a change in the House of Commons?