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Chapter 5-The Branches of Government.docx

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Political Science
POLS 1150
Michael Szala

The Branches of Government y Elected Politicians in Canada y Elected politicians at the national level in Canada are Members of Parliament Representatives of voters in a parliamentary system y Those with real decision making power are members of Cabinet Members of the executive level of government responsible for decision making and administration of the bureaucracythe people in charge y See Box 51 for more on Cabinety Those who are not elected as part of the governing party are part of the oppositiony One or more parties that are not part of government but form a check on the ruling power of the elected partycriticize the current govt on the opposite side of the HoCpresent themselves in a government in waitingmajority of seats as the govt means you have the power to do what you wanta minority you have to fight largely against the opposition y All politicians are voted by the electorate People in a political system with the right to vote in elections enfranchised citizens Divisions of Power y Executive Usually the top level of government or the leader maintains leadership for the entire political system and often reflects the leadership and preoccupations of the dominant political partyTop level of governmentdirects the agenda of the govtmust be approved by the legislatureQueenformal executive and prime minister countryprovincialhas to keep legislative branch happy or else an election can occur y Initiate policies set agendas carry out business of government represent the country y In Canada the executive is responsible to Parliament must answer queries in question Periody Time allotted in House of Commons for members of the house to ask questions of the prime minister or cabinet minister See Box 53 y Presidential systems have a different model where the executive is separated from the legislatureNo question periodpresident is not member of the legislature or senatecannot be part of these branches to be a candidatepower is not concentrated as it is in a parliamentary systemwhen looking for approval of a bill the executive must approve of it but also congress can override a bill if 23 of both houses approve it not receive permission from the presidentstate and country laws are separate y A third model has a separation of powers usually imposed by an authoritarian regimeElected politicians may exist but power lies in elite partygovernment members y Leadership for entire political system y Includes role for head of government the person responsible for government in Canada it is the Prime Minister y Head of state may be the same person eg the US president is both head of state and governmentdo figure head stuff as well as governing the state or another individual In Canada the monarch is the head of state represented by the Governor General y Supervision of all government activities y In Canada ministerial responsibility Principle in parliamentary systems that requires members of the political executive both individually and as a group to remain accountable to the legislature responsible for hisher department defense but do not run it day to daythey have sub heads to do thatbut take all faults for their department y This is part of Westminster system the British model of parliamentary representative governmentborrowed their form as government and take customs and conventions
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