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POL214Y1 (206)

Organization of Canadian Government

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Victoria Wohl

Canadian Politics - Week 3: September 28 , 2010 Prospects for Constitutional Amendment - }LZš]šµš]}L]ZoÁÇZ ZL2]L2]LšZZZKoo [ÁÇ7L}š}ŒKooÇ - Unlikely to change the Constitution formally as the values of Canadians have changed, many people post 1982 feel they are part of the Constitution, Canadians feel they should have a say in it - Possible convention developing: if you want to change the Constitution, you should hold a referendum o E.g. 1992 Charlottetown Accord, 1987 Meech Lake Accord ƒ Before that, changes were made in a meeting with the premiers and the prime minister behind closed doors N Interest groups who could identify with the Constitution did not feel represented (e.g. Francophones, Aboriginals...) - , Z>l] µZ]L[š2ššZŒ}µ2Zooo2]ZošµŒZÁ]šZ]LšZŒÇŒZ o Premiers decided they had to bring in the public, hold hearings ƒ Three provinces - BC, Alberta, Quebec - said they had to have referendum before changing Constitution N Had national referendum o Charlottetown rejected in 8 out of 10 provinces ƒ ZE š]L;µ ZšZ}µ2ZššZŒÁZL[šL}µ2Z]L]š for them ƒ English Canada thought there was too much in it for Quebec N Bloc Quebecois born from ashes of Meech Lake, Reform Party born, both against Meech Lake N Demise of Meech Lake one of the reasons why conservative party fell apart - After referendum of 1995 in Quebec on vote to secede - 9Œo]KLš}LZÇZÁ}L[šÀ}š}L }LZš]šµš]}LoKLKLšµLoZZZve support of Quebec, Ontario, BC, two provinces of Atlantic Canada that make up 50%, two provinces of Prairies that make up 50% o Some will argue moving towards referenda as convention for constitutional change o In English Canada, great pride in the Charter, holds out idea of egalitarian principle o In Quebec, hold collectivist view of two distinct linguistic communities and equality between them rather than individuals ƒ Historic nationalism in Quebec constitutional culture Formal Organization of Canadian Government Please refer to Fig 8.1, pg. 231, Brooks Legislature J those that make the law, House of Commons and the Senate Executive J those that execute and make the law, Monarch, Governor General, PM Cabinet, Bureaucracy (Depts, ABCs (agencies, boards, commissions), Crown Corps) - Executives appoint members of bureaucracy Judiciary J enforces the laws, Supreme Court, other federal courts State vs. Governor - z}µ}L[šÀ}š}ŒZšš7Ç}µÀ}š}Œ2}ÀŒL}Œ - Head of state is the Queen, rep is Governor General - Head of government is Stephen Harper and the cabinet o }ÀŒLKLšÁ]šZZ]2[ - Z^Koo2[]L oµZ,}µZ}}KK}LZLŒZš - Prime Minister and cabinet act in the right of the queen - A government is more personal than the state o Usually associate it with a party o Governments come and go, the state does not ƒ State has legitimacy that transcends government Governor General - Cabinet does not get authority from House of Commons, get their authority from the crown, the Governor General o Responsible to the legislature, subordinate to the legislature - Crown has certain reserve powers, prerogative powers o Crown may refuse the advice of her first minister or the cabinet ƒ HasL[šZ‰‰LZ]L íõîò7
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