Lecture 4: October 4 POLB50
Part 4: Federalism
Women tend to be more democratic and men tend to be more republican
We can say that our country is a provincial legislative supremacy
John A. Macdonald wanted to make a union and wanted a unitary system for our country –
where all of the power originates in the central government. There could be multiple
governments. Central government can change the power on the municipal governments or
Macdonald knew Canadians would never agree to unitary. They wanted a decentralized form of
Confederacy is the opposite of unitary system (decentralized). States can withdraw from the UN
at any point. You can use coercion to make states do what you want them to do.
Macdonald refuse confederacy. He thought the US got into an American civil war because of
confederacy in their country. US states have too much power.
Canada has to have a compromise. They need to expand the country.
Federalism – compromise between confederacy and unitary system. Division of powers are
neither subordinate to other. There is no supreme government. Sovereignty is divided. Level of
government has the final say in a territory. Federal government can’t change provincial powers
and provincial government can’t change federal government powers.
Federalism does not mean national and sub-national have the same amount of power. Central
government has the most important powers. (Centralized federalism) All the important powers
to provincial (decentralized federalism) another possibility, some provinces have more power
than other provinces. They can differ. (asymmetrical federalism)
1867 – Constitution. A compromise between these two extremes. Power was divided between
federal and provincial. Section 91 has the list of powers available for federal government.
Section 92 for provincial power.
Know sec 91 and 92.
Constitution- federal government the most powerful than provincial
Almost all powers to federal. Schools, health were for churches, charities
Health and school wasn’t important for provincial but they had that power
Banking, trade, border security for federal, security, economic etc., monetary policy
It was nearer to centralized system because federal government had more
Federal government can tax directly and indirectly.
Provincial government can tax directly only.
Indirect tax – tax that imposed on manufacturer products like tariffs. Product more expensive
because of tax. Any tax that people can’t see.
Direct – income tax. Tax you can see.
Federal government had most of the money Then higher centralized government came by. The residual power was given to federal power.
When we forget a power that power will be with the federal system. The US was the opposite-
states had residual power.
Then more centralized system at this point: power of disallowance s.56 and reservation s.57.
Disallowance gives the federal the power to disallow or strike down provincial laws that are
made. Province pass legislation, this legislation can be strike down by federal government. Most
disallowance is in the West of Canada. Provinces were subordinate to federal. There’s a
lieutenant governor within each province can consult with the federal government, represents
the crown. They need to sign any legislation made by the provincial government
Opponents of Macdonald wanted a confederacy
Confederation – Macdonald called it. It was anything but confederation though.
Quasi federalism – meaning sort of federalism. It’s sort of but not really. Even though federal
government can disallow it couldn’t legislate in provincial jurisdiction. It can’t tell province what
it has to do. They didn’t have final decisions on provincial. They didn’t have final authority over
Compare US and Canada:
Bill Clinton was a persuasive guy. Everyone expected Bush (republican) to win again. B