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First Lecture

Political Science
Course Code
Victoria Wohl

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POL214 Canadian Politics
TURNITIN Course ID: 2502532 PASSWORD: Canada
Parliament decides how many seats will be in the house of commons/how many will be in
each province.
The Conservatives just proposed a bill to increased the seats in house of commons
Last Class:
3 pillars of a constitution
1.Responsible government - 1848
2.Federalism 1867
a.Federal Parliament and Provincial Parliament
b.Wanted a responsible government, similar to the united kingdom
i.How Canada created a Federalist Government
3.Charter of Rights 1982
What is a Constitution?
Big C vs Small c Constitutions.
In 1867, we moved from Parliamentary Supremacy to Bifurcated Parliament Supremacy,
Canada was no longer a United Kingdom, it was a Divided Kingdom. It was soon made
where one level of government could sue another level of government.
1982, when we acquired our Charter, we included everyone and anyone is referred to in the
charter, move from bifurcated supremacy to Constitutional supremacy; includes the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Charter limits the Parliamentary supremacy, it doesnt fully eclipse (stop)
parliamentary supremacy, ex, there are cameras in the House of Commons, if parliament
wants to get ride of them, and they can. Not even the Media can say otherwise. The Charter
has qualified parliamentary supremacy.
The Charter can Trump federalist principles
3 . Big C vs Small c Constitution.
They are the formal texts of the constitution, constitution act 1982, and 1867.
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Changing the Constitution is more deeply infringed, its harder to change.
Is the supreme court of Canada apart of the Constitution of Canada?
Parliament can create the supreme court of Canada
Some believe the supreme court is a part of the Constitution
Small C Constitution refers to all the constitution rules such as statures, some orders
and counsel and a part of the judicial decisions dealing with the constitution. (Section
15th, discrimination)
Judicial decisions dealing with constitutional issues become a part of the constitution.
(Dealing with discrimination of gay)
If a party wins majority of the House of Commons, the leader should be called to be
prime Minister.
Whats the purpose of these conventions?
The penalties for violating the constitution of political, not legal.
Judicial decisions, constitutional convention, customs.
Constitutional conventions are not enforced by the courts.
In Canada you can ask the Court a reference question. (opinion, they dont have to give
1st question, Can Quebec leave? (it was more detailed)
The constitution is more than a written text, it embraces the entire global system
or rules and principles.
oHave to take into consideration the principle of federalism
oPrinciple of democracy (they did have a referendum)
oConstitutionalism and rule of law
oRespect for minorities
1867 they got 16 different powers - > Power over municipalities
The cities have the powers to which the provincial government gives them, section 95,
shows 2 areas that are concurrent. Both Federal and Provincial have powers over
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