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POL337Y1 (61)


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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Vuk Radmilovic

23 SEPTMEBR 2013 Lib democracy has two key req 1) Formal set of institutions 2) Social values Option 1, United Kingdom Option 2, United States  Judicial review: form of govt where 1) a set of civil liberties are written into the constitution that cannot be changed through ordinary legislation 2) courts have the power to dent the force of law to any statue Canada: Parliamentary Sov limited by:  Federalism (1867)  Charter of Rights and Freedoms (since 1982) o Judicial review expended to include rights and freedoms o Which one is better? Canada is a good test case because of the difference before and after 1982 Social and cultural Values  Diversity  Relatively strong sense of civil duty  High level of belief that one’s involvement in politics and in the life of community matters Quebec Charter of Values  How different components of democratic govt can operate in Canada  Whatever is ostentatious is left undefined (no specific guidelines)  Exceptions are made for some employees, like MNAs and some artifacts, such as the crucifixes found in the Quebec’s national assemblies  Privileging of some symbols over others?  Tyranny of majority? Through their elected representatives are enacting laws which have adverse effects on minorities and not majorities  Might be an example of how out democracy works Formal institutions (2 components) 1. Executive and legislative branches are based on the basis of regular and competitive elections (the democracy in the liberal democracy) a. A legislative branch of Quebec govt can clearly enact a lwa that arguably promotes majoritarian values at the expense of minority rights and freedoms 2. A set of civil liberties (individual rights and freedoms) is also protects (liberal in liberal democracy) a. Overwhelming majority of constitutional scholars agree that the Quebec Charter of Values in unconstitutional, but what about the notwithstanding clause? A set of social and cultural values  Popular, societal or cultural tolerance for diversity  Separatist parties facing membership revocation (civic protests)  Quebec business leaders, intellectuals and urban municipalities and civic groups rallying against the charter of values What comes first? What causes war?  Formal political institutions OR  Civil culture, values and attitudes  In the Canadian context – the charter impacted the values people have, raised the awareness of civil liberties, people are more likely to notice when rights are being potentially abrogated (when Quebec protestors were being introduced, they were talking about the Charter) Systems with judicial review  Judicial interpretation is very important  Judges have a bigger role  Vagueness of concepts – judges give meaning to the constitution  Judges infuse the concepts with meaning  What does it mean to enjoy the freedom of religion?  Almost impossible to what the conventional concepts mean just by reading, you will find freedom of religion, but you will not know how it relates to specifics like the Quebec Charter of Values – have to look at case law, case law determines meaning of specific provisions Sections 7  Life, liberty and security of the person… with the principals of fundamental justice – govt can limit this, as long as those limits accord with principles with fundamental justice  Sufficiently important objectives With judicial review – more policy making influence Proper place of courts  Lack expertise to decide such matters?  Legitimacy of the courts  Legitimacy – rules and institutions that comprise the state are accepted by most people as justified, reasonable and proper o Consent – acceptance as reasonable > the legitimacy is based on the consent of those who are governed  Legitimacy v popularity – different  Legitimacy ensures that people will continue to obey the law  What if low levels of legitimacy and low levels of popularity?  Senate – low legitimacy and low popularity  Supreme Court of Canada – high legitimacy and popularity  The justices are strategic, decisions are carefully tailores as to not allientance the dominant public opinion, most people find reasonable  The SCC did not live up to the promise of the charter, because it has made many compremises, amking sure that the decsions are accepted by the important political actors Totalitarian – legitimacy based on coercion Democratic – voluntary acceptance of inst as reasonable, more fair but demanding, citizens have to inform themselves of the operation of the institutions Judicial Legitimacy: 3 types (court as institutions)  Legal legitimacy – whether a particular decisions is in accordance with existicing body of law and doctrine  Moral legitimacy whetehr a particular decision is justified on moral gorpnds  Institutio
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