Constitution and Confederation
Important Constitution Characteristics:
- Canada is a federal state.
- Constitutional monarchy.
- Political power and rights.
- Constitutional amendments.
Constitutional Characteristics: the Road to the Confederation
- Representative government.
o Aboriginal governance and the British Crown.
- Responsible government
o 1840 Act of Union
o 1867 BNA Act
Why a written Constitution?
- Limit the power of legislative (law-making) authority.
- Constitution Act 1867 (BNA)
- Constitution Act 1982 (Charter)
- What was the role of the courts before the Charter?
o TODAY, courts make decisions based on “exciting” things like abortion, etc.
o There are no laws on democracy.
- Canada is a constitutional monarchy.
o Head of State remains Queen.
o Canada has a Governor General.
- USA is a republican government.
o Head of state is the president.
- Responsible government.
o Removes most power from the Governor General.
o Transfers it to Parliament.
- Prior to 1982, rights and the Constitution were very much abstract and not written down.
- In the face of government, Parliament is supreme.
Political power is concentrated.
- Power is concentrated in the hands of the executive in Ca