POLS 2300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 35: United Kingdom Cabinet Committee, Canada Pension Plan, Hung Parliament

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POLS 2300 Key Terms
Fixed-date election law: prescribes that general elections be held on a particular date, typically every
four years
By-election: district-level election held between general elections
Confidence convention: practice under which a government must relinquish power when it loses a
critical legislative vote
House of Commons: Passes laws and resolutions to govern the country; supervises and holds to account
the executive
Senate: originally designed as counterweight to the Commons. Members are appointed by the Prime
Minster, not elected.
Majority government: in which the governing party controls at least half the seats in the legislature
Party discipline: adherence to the directives of party leadership
Earned majority: the governing part’s share of the popular ote is at least 50% seldo
Manufactured majorities: goerig part’s share of the popular ote is less tha 50%
Hung parliament: no single party controls at least half the seats.
Minority government: cabinet consists of members from only one political party
Coalition government: cabinet consists of members from more than one political party (only one in
Canada at the federal level)
Standing orders: body of rules governing the conduct of the legislature
Question period: the time allotted for members to ask oral questions of the government in the
legislature
Opposition days: 20 days allocated to opposition parties so that they have time for debate about their
own motions
Standing committee: permanent legislative committee whose existence is defined by standing order
Ad hoc committee: working legislative committee, whose mandate is time-limited
Bill: a piece of draft legislation tabled in the legislature
Filibuster: coordinated effort among non-government members to protest a bill by delaying its passage
Omnibus legislation: a single document that is accepted in a single vote by a legislature but packages
together several measures into one or combines diverse subjects
Consensus government: a form of consensus democracy government in Canada in the Northwest
Territories
Public laws: legal rules that impact society as a whole (criminal, constitutional, and administrative laws)
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Private laws: legal rules that concern the relationships among individuals and organizations in matters
that do not have broader public concern. Based on two distinct legal systems: the common-law system
and the civil-law system.
Judicial review: The process through which courts assess the actions and laws of Canadian governments
to ensure they are consistent with the constitution.
Constitutional law cases involve deciding which order of government, federal or provincial, has
jurisditio oer a partiular poli area, or hether Caadias’ rights ad freedos hae ee
breached by government.
Administrative law cases involve determining whether government actors perform their duties in an
authorized and fair manner.
Mandatory minimum sentences: The shortest allowable prison term a judge may impose upon a person
convicted of certain crimes or under certain conditions
Welfare state: suite of government programs, services, and financial supports designed to assist the
least fortunate in society
Public administration: study and delivery of public policy by government
Public policy: plan or course of action chosen by a government to respond to an identified problem
Green paper: government document released to explore policy options, no commitment to the outcome
White paper: document outlining proposed policy commitment by government
Pluralism: presence of diverse socioeconomic groups participating in public affairs
Public policy cycle: common stages in public decision-making, from conception to implementation and
modification
Agenda Setting: policy problems gain government attention
Policy Formulation: government explores potential policy responses
Decision-making: government determines how to respond
Policy Implementation: government introduces the policy
Policy Evaluation: government monitors the policy
Policy Change: policy is adjusted in response to feedback and monitoring data
Treasury board: cabinet committee tasked with reviewing and authorizing government revenue and
expenditure policies
Collective bargaining: formal negotiation of the terms of an employment contract between the
representatives of a group of employees and their employer
Taxation policy: regulations, mechanisms, and rates set by government to generate revenues from
people and businesses in its jurisdiction
Direct taxation: collection of taxes by government without using an intermediary (property tax)
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