Class Notes (839,116)
Canada (511,194)
POL214Y5 (144)
David Pond (31)
Lecture 3

Week 3 and 4 Readings

9 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
David Pond

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POL214 – Constitutional Foundations Institutional Foundations and the Evolution of the State (ch2) Early Settlement and Political Institutions • Royal Proclamation of 1763 – first distinctively CDN constitutional doc, created the British colony of Quebec & purported to protect the interests of French-speakers, but the British-appointed gov’t was English-speaking and the non-agricultural economy came under British control o British governors resisted idea of imposing English & Protestant religion on such a homogenous French-Catholic pop • 1774, QuebecAct, provided for a new set of gov’t institutions o Roman Catholics allowed freedom of religion and could be appointed to council • Thousands of ex-American loyalists migrated to CDA in 1776ish • Loyalists pressured British to pass ConstitutionalAct of 1791 (elected assembly) o Also served to reward French for not joining theAmerican revolution o Divided British colony into Upper & Lower Canada • Representative Government – a set of pol institutions that included an elected legislative assembly o After this, reformers demanded responsible government • Advisers to the governor would be both chosen from and reflect the views of the elected assembly • 1839, Durham Report – provided a blueprint for solving the probs of assembly- executive relations, recommending that the principle of resp gov’t be implemented w/ respect to local affairs, so that the executive branch would govern only as long as it retained the confidence of elected assembly o Also suggested that Upper & Lower CDAbe merged into one dominion • 1840 Act of Union • French also became second official lang of CDA The Road to Confederation • Colonies began to think of uniting b/c of economic, political & military factors o Hoped to establish new free trade area among themselves o Enhanced by railway link • Political deadlock b/w Quebec & Ontario o Needs & demands of two parts were too diff • Led to requiring ‘double majority’ • Majority of votes from both parts of colony for bill passing o Confederation would allow greater autonomy of both parts • Fear ofAmericans taking over the ‘CDN’west • British North America Act, 1867, later, Constitution Act, 1867, united the colonies The British Parliamentary System Compared with theAmerican Congressional System • Supremacy of Parliament: no other organ of gov’t can overrule Parliament or its laws • Core of parliamentary system was, and is still, the PM and the Cabinet o Principle of responsible gov’t still applies though (maintain majority vote) • Westminster Model: British parliamentary system is executive-dominated • Majority Gov’t: when majority of MPs belong to the same pol party at PM & Cabinet • Minority Gov’t: when supporters are outnumbered by opposition MPs • Gov’t has also developed another branch o Bureaucracy or public service • Advises PM & cabinet on their decisions and then carries out whatever gov’t programs have been authorized • Judicial Independence: courts should operate independently of the rest of the gov’t apparatus w/ implications for security of tenure & remuneration • Judicial Review: the power to declare laws invalid Canadian and American Federalism • MacDonald wanted a centralized gov’t where the federal gov’t had most power & provinces were little more than municipalities o Quebec & Maritimes didn’t agree • Compromised w/ central gov’t for common purposes & provincial gov’ts for local concerns • Federalism: a division of power b/w central & regional gov’ts such that neither is subordinate to the other • Charter of Rights and Freedoms, 1982 o Only major change since the central institutionalized structure was established in 1867 Principles of the Canadian Constitution • Six basic principles of CDN Constitution: o Responsible gov’t o Federalism o Judicial review o Constitutional monarchy • Nbd, cause monarch & GG don’t have any extensive power o Rule of Law • All gov’t action must be based on law and that gov’ts & gov’t officials must obey the law • No one is above the law o Democracy • Popular sovereignty • Political equality • Political freedom • Majority rule The Road to Canadian Sovereignty • Constitution Act of 1867 didn’t directly advance the cause of CDN independence, it just divided the powers that were already being exercised in CDA b/w a new central gov’t & prov gov’ts o British control still existed in many forms • Ultimate independence of CDAis attributed to developments connected to WWI o Although CDA was automatically at war in 1914 b/c of Britain, CDN gov’t determined the extent of its own commitments o CDAbecame independent member of League of Nations • 1919, CDA had gained new int’l status as a result of accomplishments on battlefield & demands for recognition at conference table • Statute of Westminster, 1931 o Gave CDAcomplete autonomy in all policy fields o GG would no longer be agent of British gov’t; only rep of Crown o No more disallowance of CDN legislation by British Cabinet & reservation of CDN legislation by GG • Constitution Act, 1982 o Formula for constitutional amendments • Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) o Committee of British Parliament that functioned as CDA’s final court of appeal until 1949 The Changing Role of the State • The state performed limited functions until the beg of 20 century • Negative state – period before 1900 • Positive state – period after 1900 • Before 20 century, it was basically an era of individual & family self-reliance & self- sufficiency o Most services (ex. Education, health & social services) were left to private sector • Keynesian Economics o Believed that gov’t should intervene & put money into public works, etc when the economy was down and decrease public spending when the economy was overheated • By 1950ish, Canada was practicing some degree of Keynesian Economics o Wide range of social programs & gov’t transfers to inds had been created • i.e. unemployment insurance, pensions, etc • Globalization • Neoliberalism/Neoconservatism o Often used to refer to the new philosophy of gov’t The Canadian Constitution and Constitutional Change (ch17) • Constitution: the whole body of fundamental rules and principles according to which a state is governed • Components of the Canadian Constitution o Principle components are: o The Constitution Act, 1867 1. Very brief on executive & judicial branches of gov’t and included almost nothing about limiting powers of gov’t in relation to people 2. Also lacked mention of means to amend the act o Amendments to the Constitution Act, 1867 1. Established new regime of federal-provincial grants 2. New distribution of Senate seats 3. Transferred ownership of natural resources to Western provinces 4. Added unemployment insurance to list of fed powers 5. Joined NFLD to Canada 6. Allowed Ottawa to legislate old age pensions 7. Mandatory for prov superior court judges to retire at 75 8. Extended fed power in concurrent field of old age pensions o British Statutes and Orders in Council 1. M
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