POL 2101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Unemployment Benefits, American Civil War, Parliamentary System

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POL2101 – Lecture 2
Canada
o By joining together Canada could sustain an army capable of
defending their own land
On July 1st 1867 Canada was officially united by the British North America
Act of 1867 later renamed the Constitution Act of 1867
• Newfoundland and PEI were not a part of Canada at the time of
signing, they were still colonies of Great Britain
Parliamentary system VS American Congressional System
In Canada judges have the power of judicial review
• This power allows them to overturn laws that they find
• In the US only the supreme court can overturn laws they find
• In Britain it is only the House of Commons / Senate
Federalism
unconstitutional
unconstitutional
• John A Macdonald (Canada’s First Prime Minister) wanted the
federal government to control almost everything and leave the
small tasks to the provincial government
o Quebec and the Maritimes did NOT like this idea
! Quebec wanted to ensure that their language difference
as well as education and civil laws were upheld in a
French speaking majority
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• The Maritimes who were now quite far from the new Capital of
• Macdonald eventually decided to leave a lot of decisions in the
Ottawa did not want to lose any powers they had prior to
confederation
hands of the provinces but decided that the federal government in
Ottawa will control many things. Leaving too much power in the
hands of a state (such as military and financial) could lead to a
revolution
o Many people in that era believed that because the states had
too much power that is what allowed the American Civil war
to occur
o Articles 91 and 92 of the Constitutional Act
o Power of disallowance
o Power of reservation
! Completely disallow a provincial decision
! Suspend a provincial decision
Federalism can be defined as a division of power between a central and a
regional government such that neither is a subordinate to each other
Principles of the Canadian Constitution
• Responsible Government
• Federalism (although more quasi-federal)
• Judicial Review
• Constitutional Monarchy
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