Class Notes (839,590)
Canada (511,419)
POLS 2300 (152)
Lecture 5

Week 5 .docx

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Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2300
Tamara Small

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POLS 2300: Canadian Government and Politics Week 5: The Legislature: House of Commons and Senate October 10 , 2012 Quiz- Fiscal federalism & on, The executive, The legislature Canadian Model: Westminster - Crown (Queen, GG & LG) - Cabinet (PM and ministry) - Parliament o House of Commons o Set - Important: Fusion of powers between the Cabinet and the House of Commons Executive-Legislative Relationship - Fusion of Powers: o Duel membership in both the exevutie and legislature o Parliamentary o Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany - Separation of Powers o Where each branch is largely independent of the other branches o Checks and Balances o Presidential – has no authority, doesn’t sit in congress, if he looses a vote in congress or house of representatives nothing happens o United States Responsible Government - “Responsible government entails one rule – government is responsible to and must always majority of elected members of have the confidence of the House of Commons” - Responsible government is a convention - If the government looses confidence something must happen such as asking for a dissolution or that Prime Minister must resign and the GG must pick a new PM out of who is there so that the government has confidence Executive Dominance - The cabinet enjoyed a measure of predominance and control over the legislatures - Because of things like responsible government, party discipline, move towards executive federalism, there is extreme amounts of executive dominance - Despite the fact that the government is supposed to be responsible to the government is able to control the legislature - There is executive dominance because: o there is a high turnover of legislature o workload, short sessions, lots going on, backbenches don’t have the ability to know anything, defer to the people who know what they are talking about o when we talk about the government, we care about the government, focus on the executive o executive federalism, executives have more power because they are the ones who have to deal with each other - This is a problem because: o We are supposed to have responsible government The Three Elements of Parliament - Section 17, CA 1867: There shall be One Parliament for Canada consisting of the Queen, an Upper House Styled the Senate, and the House of Commons o Bicameralism – 2 chambers, legislature is dived into upper house and lower house, at provincial level we are not bicameralism, we are unicameral o Parliamentary Sovereignty - Bill Process: o 1) Cabinet and Cabinet Committee Process o 2) H of C – 1 reading, 2 reading, committee, report, 3 readingrd o 3) Senate – 1 reading, 2 reading, committee, report, 3 reading rd o 4) Royal Assent House of Commons - “The House of Commons is Canada’s premier legislative institution, although legislation is produced only when three parts of Parliament – Crown, Senate and Commons – work in concert. Of the three, the Commons chamber, despite being qualifier of lower or the more antique nether, is preeminent” - House of Commons is most important - Senate doesn’t have the power to overturn legislation - The executive is fused to the legislature and the house - The House of Commons holds the government accountable – responsible government - Power of the perks – the senate cannot spend your money, it can approve spending your money but cannot introduce money bills, H of C can - H of C is elected, its authority comes from the people Functions of the House of Commons - David Docherty (2005): o Surveillance – over see the government, there to scrutinize the government, brings issues raised by the public o Policy Making/Legislating – The Cabinet is the one that makes the laws, the H of C accepts, rejects and amends the legislation proposed by the government, Private members bills in Canada are rare, and they are rarely passed because they don’t have the support of the government so they don’t have the weight of party discipline o Investigation – study issues, examine policies, happens in the committee phase o Representation – Act as intermediaries between citizens and the government Representative Democracy - Form of democracy in which citizens choose representatives to exercise authority on their behalf - Representation by population – seats are allocated in the H of C to vary with population, give a certain amount of seats depending on a provinces population - It is a principle it is not absolute Representation by Population - One person, One vote - Not absolute o Grandfather Clause – not in constitution can be changed easily, no province should have fewer seats than they did in 1985 o Senate Floor – no province should have less seats than they have seats in the senate, it is in the constitution therefore to change it have to go through amending powers - Conservative government introduced a bill to change representation in H of C - Introduced 27 new seats Models of Representation - Trustee – Comes from Burke – role of representative is to reflect on the large national interest, they should use their own judgment about how to behave by taking into consideration the big picture, representative is more informed and has more experience - Delegate - elected representatives are obliged to speak for, act for and vote for their delegate, closely related to this notion of recall, idea that if your MP is not doing your job you should be able to recall them back and send somebody else, very little traction in Canada, BC and Saskatchewan have a recall law, no Canadian has ever been recalled - Party – MP’s vote according to their parties, they are part of a team that is why they are elected and they are committed to that team, one good reason that we have party voting is responsible government - Mirror – descriptive or ascriptive the composition of a legislature should mirror
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