September 11, 2012
Professors Priorities for being elected for PM: 1- Enviornment 2- Inequality
Democracy: system of governance in which ppl rule. either directly or threw representives. political
system based on principle tha governance require assents of
Minimal conditions: fair elections, right to vote, right to run for office, right to express them selves
without fear, right to form independant associations.
Some politcal scientists think that this is not enough
These rights are essential to democracy. Liberal democracy can have several attributes = gov follow the
rule of law, ppl are elected periodicly, free and fair elections,
All the democracies in the world have constitutions. Constitutions is the set of binding norms and rules
that provide the legitimate of exerviced power.
Canada has a constitutional gov.
Civil society groups: humain rights groupes, studnt group... not always political but have meanings.
Political engagement is a big theme in this course
Civil engagement: joining groups, clubs, civicly engaged, civil goes with citizens... ppl active in their
community, hockey club, debat society.
Canadian rank 3 with their city involvement.
Political engagement: awarness of political issues, shapes the laws and policies, voting, civil society
organizations, this is hugely important, democracy cant happen
Politicaly active citizen needs to be able to make assesments, and know were to look for information,
must work with other to acheive political goals, understands
how the political system works, has a developed sence of political ethenicity
Canada is not a nation of political activities, we compare to other countries but we aare a bit lower the
northern europe. 1 out of 10 canadians actually take part
Not all civil society groups participate with political activities.
Suzanna Mattler, interested in the relationship on wat gov does and political engagement. Less gov will
mean more politcal involvement, the decision of getting
involved. If gov turns u off, u wont participate.
#Political and civic engagement important theme
confideration of canada and its constitution:
Constitutions live the gov. In canada the constitution is made out of severval documents, the 2 main
documents of the constitution is: Constitution Act 1867,
and COnstitution act 1982, the first 34 sections of this act are the charter
Constitution is the seprime law of the land. Refer the creation of the land of a confederatoion. Canadas
property is called the fedaration. c 1867 sections 91 to 95 does not contain ways to change the constitution, we need to get the
authorization of the uk gov to change the constition. The constitution
development began in 1763 with the Royal Proclamation.
Other documents: 1774 the Quebec Act, the 1791 Constitutional act, and the 1840 act of union.
1174: refer to this act to the most fondemantal.
Royal proclamation was the tolorent of the french practice, speak their language, practice their religion.
1840: uper canada and lower canada were united
Responsible gov: having confidance in the house. if they lose confidence then the party must fall.
House of communs, Senate. Gov will be the parlimentary
Founders of the country were not well developed. The founders were not described as strong canadian
nationalists. Founders created a state but wasnt a fully
independent country, it didnt have international affairs of power. hade to apel of the british court,
things were amde by the british. no decleration of
Third point of confederation: were ottawa was dominant. Made ways to make ottawa gain the power.
Ottawa had unlimited taxing power, and spending power. Vision of a strong federal gov.
**What to write in the memo: Confederation link to political engagement: the confederation
agreement produced a senate that was appointed. The senate process does not foster the political
engagement. Confederation was not put to referenda.
WEEK 3 - Sept 18, 2012 chapter 10
2- The constitution
Profs constitutional priority: Senate reform. He would make the senate a place were it would be elected.
The prof prefers a mixture though, senate consiste of member of 2 sourcees 1- the provinces, federal
government and the choice of the province. make the senate a equal representation of provinces (5-8
ppl per province).
Confederation : thers are 4 : royal proclamation, 1774 (continued the attitude to the French), 1791
(constitutional act, americain didn’t like the revolution, an), the active union (become united in one
province), 1837 (rebellion on the upper and lower Canada).
Responsible government: held accountable to their action to the elected representatives to the house.
There were 3 issues about confederation: 1- the founders of the country were not democrat. 2- the
founders were not candaian nationalist, didn not seek full canadaian independence, no constitutional
amendment procedures, this was costly. 3- they chose a federal system and wanted the law authority to
lie at the federal level. The constitutions are important: cuz it puts a limiti on state power, in the rights section that are
included in constitutions. It sets out the government, how the government is suppose to work, are we
going to have a senate, a house. Suppose to express the shared values.
Political analyses must begin with the constitution. The 2 main documents of the consititution :
constitution act of 1982, and 1867
1867: section 91 to 95. Power of the federal government and the pronvincial government. Constitly on
1982: aboriginal right, equality of men and women.
Constitution can be changed in 2 ways. Formal amendment procedure. And threw traditional
interpretation, somebody condense, goes to the court, judges will determine and make the decision.
In Canada we’ve had both ways of changing the constitution.
residual powers : Some powers will not be forseen. Any powers not listed in the constitution go to the
In canada the residual power is called: peace, order and good government power.
The founders wanted free trade across Canada. They wanted to make sure the manage of the economy
arrested with Ottawa. Some refusal... the Provinces then managed their own economy.
Another decision came: the international tredy.
From 1877 to 1982: constitution was amended many times. Only 2 policy areas were amended, allowing
Ottawa to give old age pensions and unemployment insurance.
We had to go to Great Brittan to get out constitution amended : Statue of Westminster.
They (French speaking candaians) thought their right would be better protected with the Great Brittan.
In 1995 the quebec liberal said to the rest to stay out... Jean cretien agrees
Discussions: The leaders on this country have lil trust and faith in the ppl. And don’t trust their selves.
The charter isn’t perfect. Not worth riling around.
Since the 1950s that got us were we are today: the judicial committee of the council... a time of rest...
Not accepting the traditional ways of life from the church. English candian elite had a unilingual way of
the coutry... saw themselves as the lil England. Didn’t see the whole French speaking aspect.
The nationalism became more assertive. The 1960 election, the state became more interventionist, the
church power reduced. Ther others it was like a more of an independence for quebec. There was a third
group that opposed to the independence and __ from Pierre Trudeaux. Increase French power from the
state. He wasn’t successful in hes separation project. He found allies in Alberta. Depended more powers
for themselves. During this time, late 1970s, aborginalism nationalism emerged wanted made a decision
known as the Calder decision. Aboriginal ppl had the right to occupy and use land they were tied to.
Aboriginal ppl made a lot of social progress.
In 1980 there was a referendum in quebec. Pierre trudeaux went to intervene.
The amending formula that was accepted did not include quebecs right to veto. Many premiyers Didn’t
like the charter because the judges make the decisisions on the issues .
Sept 20. 2012 chapters 14 15 17 Today:
3. 3 branches of government exec
2 ways of changing the constitution: formal amendment, or judicial interpretation.
Major Powers: residual power, also known as peace order and good government.
1931: the Westminster’s, intent to be a status were Britain said adios!
1950s: quebes restlessness to the country.
1980: reverend was healed. Constitutional reform . the elements of trudeauxs constitutional reform:
charter of rights and freedom, amendment formula.
1982: constitutional peace in the country, country seatled down, ppl started getting use of the charter.
Brian Malooney became PM in 1984. Conservative PM from Quebec. Didnt have the same vision as
trudeaux, had more simpathie to quebes nationalism. Never signed the constitution in quebec. He
begins with qhats known as the quebecs round of issues qith the constitution and the country against
the provinces. They had a constitutional court in 1987. Even tho the provinces agreed with it, some ppl
didn’t like the trust of the document, some ppl were afraid the charter would be impacted, afraid that
there rights would be taken away, secretive process by the way it was formulated (11 men in suits that
were taking care of it scared ppl). Marooney forgot that ppls attitude towards the constitution changed
because there rights were protected by the constitution, so ppl became more alarmed. Maarooney lost
1990: he tries again. The process was quite inclusive. Aboriginal were involved. They reached an
agreement in 1992. The thret to the charter remained. He had lost his political capital. Charlettetown
accord goes down, Quebec feel defeat and angry.
Jean Chretiens: Plan A: tries to be consivitory to quebec. Grants more autonomy to quebec. Plan B: to
submit to the supreme court. Supreme court says no to if quebec has more rights.
Constitutional changes are mostly changed threw judicial interpretation.
3 branches of government:
Executive, Legislative, Judicial.. these are the keys of machinery in the democratic government.
Executive: there are diff types of executive—Presidential (head of state, head of government),
Parliamentary. Parlimentary: executive is picked by the legislative. President is elected by the ppl, he
dosnt have to be a member of the congress. In parliamentary system, you have to do what your leader
tells you do, but not in presidential, they use their own judgment, no one tells them what to do. Which
system is more democratic and more durable= presidential... excetive and legislative are separate and
they can go there own ways. Gridlock situation may cause ppl to disengage, that the temptation of the
excutive to take power and get things done is irresistible. If theres a crises or need to remove the
president it is very difficult. But the Parliamentary system is stronger cuz theres no gridlock, theres more
control, if theres a problem with the PM he can be taken out really fast.
Pippa Norris: thought that parliamentary system were more democratic.
Canadian Executive: PM and Cabinat, the Crown, bureaucracy. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, crown represents Canada. At one time the crown had powers, then
the candian government took over and those powers went to the PM. Canadians think that the crown
dosnt rly represent canda anymore. The Core of representative are cabinat, PM is also part of the
cabinet. Cabinet: ppl that are chosen by the PM out of the House of communs (health, affairs,
the Pm and cabinet have the responsibility of the constitutions convention. The pm have several powers
n res: appoints the cabinet, judges, ambassadors, senior bureaucratic, asset cabinet meetings, pm is the
final policy decision maker, party leader, responsible of groups health, has the final say on candidates
that run for his party, Responsible for the conduct for foreign policy, authority to dissolve parliament
and have elections.
Pm have a larger office staff (PMO), provides policy support, the office is highly political.
PM also has the privy council, non- partisan, provides PM sources of advice, coordinate gov policy and
action, left hand knows what the right hand is doing.
Canada has had 22 PMs. The longest was Mackenzie King. There’s been 5 from Quebec. 9 from liberal
parties. There are no limits of how long PM can remain PM. What makes a successful PM: increasing the
human development maintains the confidence of the house, the quality of life of the Canadians is good,
maintain a good economic status, maintain appropriate foreign policy, creates a sense of unity.
PM is no bulletproof. Jean Chretien did not pay great attention to his back benchers, he paid the price
when he was looking for support. Formation of the cabinet is the first major task of the PM, it reflects
Different ministers. Some have more authority than others. Thers are 3 rules that they have: collective
ministerial responsibilities, individual ministerial responsibility (accountable for his sections, for anything
that happens), must answer the legislative brands of whats going on in the department. Cabinet
members give ideas and advice.
Most important cabinet is the treasury board: financial expenditures for the gov
Central agencies: includes PMO privy council, treasury board, finance department.
White recomendes that the number of the members should increase in the house, Should have fix
election dates, to allow ordinary MPs to have access to the cabinet meetings and documents, to ensure
that any agreements that the PM assigns have to be ratified with the parliament.
Sept 25, 2012 WEEK 4 – Chapters 14 15 17
-2 other branches today: legislative and judicial
-Executive consist of the PM, the cabinet, and the crown
-Powers of the PM: sets the agenda for the gov, power to appoint the supreme court judges, points
members of the cabinet. Spokes person for the government. Leader of the party. PM has available to
him bodies of ppl to advice him: PMO (group of advisors), PCO (Privy Council office), bureaucratic.
-Dep of Finance and the treasury board are known as the central agencies. Make sure the PM interests
are accounted for. Every time theres an expendure of money these 2 departements are involved.
-PM cant be ignorant of the needs to the members of his senators and his MPs.
-The ministers have important rules: collective ministerial responsibility (Minister cant go off on his
own). Individual ministerial responsibility (responsible for what happens in their department). -Donald Savoie: from the uni of new Brunswick. Argues that the PM acquires way too much authority.
The the power of the executive level resides on the PM, the head on the PMO, PCO, and the cabinet
ministers. Argument that powers are in too few hands. Not too much is shared. Whenever a minster
gets in trouble, ul see the PMO moving really quickly to take control of the situation.
-Number of proposals to deal with the PM power: to have fixed election dates (PMs ability to set
election date gives him too much power towards the house on setting the agenda, this may or may not
have an effect on PMs power).
-Legislative: the house of commons and the senate. We usually call the federal parliament: parliament. -
-The functions are: representation,( the house of commons has 308 members, they represent the
Canadian ppl by population in the house). Confirm legitimacy on gov inactments,( if the gov were to pass
a bill it would not have the same legitimacy if 308 members would say this is the law. The houise and the
senate together confirm legitimacy). Scrutinizing is another function (question period, questions from
opposite members, even their own members). Recruitment is another (of members, cabinet ministers,
PM selects his cabinet, house is where future PM comes from). Law making (to pass laws). Financing
government (any expenditures need to be proved by the house of commons and the senate threw
legislation). Political education (members of the parliament explain policies to the ppl, info that ppl
need). Accountability function (takes place every 4 years when there`s an election).
-Parliamentary gov follow the rule of parliamentary supremacy can make and unmake laws it wishes to
without interference from the monarch.
Parliament can make a law today, but won’t make a hold and bind on a parliament in the future.
Parliamentary supremacy doesn’t have the same supremacy as Britain.
-First past post: each member represents a constituency or a right. Mps are elected to fulfill few rules
depending on their MP. If an MP or MPP goes to the legislative, then we say that the members are
playing the role of Trustee. This MP is an independent thinker. Role of Constituency Delegate. If an
elected gov goes to the gov or parliament to serve the parliamentary wishes, then the member is
playing the role of Party Delegate.
*we discussed which role you would chose. Ex: trustee for the policy.
-in terms of most work that members do: serving ppl in their writing. Serving on many legislative
comities. Do some policy work. Work is mostly social work.
-in terms of education, class, and gender: neither of the house or senate are part of this. Most are male
and are middle class or higher. Most of them are lawyers. Some of the highlights of the house are the
speech of the thrown (government general reads), the budget, and the question period.
Several house committees.
-a parliamentary system is caracteristed by party disipline, party disciplaine is MP votes to the dicisplain
of the leader. A vote is determine by the matter of confidance. If the gov losses the vote, it will fall. Party
disclipline is focused only on budget matters. Pasrty discipline should be relaxed and should be focussed
by the population. Issue of confidance.
-Some scholars like party discipline, cuz it freezes mps from advocacy groups. Party discipline in brittain
is loser then in Canada.
-Canada right now has the majority government. The party in power has more then half the sits.
(minority gov means that the gov party has the most seats in the house but not more then half). Canada has never had a coalition government. (Brittain right now has a coliation party). However canda prefer
-The senate examine an issue of death and report. The fatal flaw: that its appointed, lacks legitimacy.
There has been call for senate reform. The NDP want to reform the senate.
-Thers 2 types of bills that receive attention in the house: public and privat bills. Public: government bills
and private member bills. Private bills: bills must be introduced by a private members bills. The stage in
the legislative process: member or minister gives notice to the clerk of the house, then at a time the
miniter present the bill to the house (this is first reading), at second reading the members of the house
will debate to find commons to the principale of the bill and then they vote weither the bill should go to
house committee. The role of the committee is to study the contain of the bill and recommend approval
and things to change in the bill. Committe will accept latter of the public. Each bill is studied claws by
claws and they vote on each clause. Members may pose amendments. And discus if this bill should
return back to the house (report stage). Here the bill amendments are considered as the house as a
hole. And then theres another vote on the house on the question of shall we concur the bill at this stage.
Next stage is the third reading, if the bill should be adopted. The final vote is taken to see if the bill
should be passed. The bill then receives royal assent, were the governor general signs.
Sept 27. 2012 DGD
Candian UK embassy... in the news: canadain and uk embassy will be linked in one building, having both
flags. Some ppl thought they were loosing their identifty. Is it this a good thing or bad thing?
- Because we are developed country, with a lot of education... they should have their own
- To save money, why not?... Canada and UK have kinda the same governance..
Legislative setup in Canada:
- Evolution of the Canadian constitution
- To operate as a government u need more than half of the seats.
- With coalition, u can have 2 governments ruling together.
- But Canada prefers governing with majority because its the majority of what the population
- We are losing some nuance when having a coalition
- If u have 2 left side governments ruling together then it might work out (liberal and NDP)
- Ppl say it would be easier if liberal n ndp got together and put their policies together to make
one group because it would make it easier for ppl to vote for them, instead of have to chose
between them n not knowing which it chose...
- If you want to win its better to merge with another party to get more ppl to represent you...
- If you say yes to llink with another party, the other party might influence them on their
- Their functions...
- They stay in the senate till they retire...
- The PM chooses the members of the senate
- Some barely show up to work, and some are really good at their work... they cant get fired - There is no N