POLI 221 Study Guide - Final Guide: Plurality Voting System, Cooperative Federalism, Proportional Representation

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-TOPIC 1- ISSUES
Institutions: rules that define a role (ex: PM) Rules are not written down
most of the time, they are implied by the constitution, there fore can be
abused bc not specifically outlined.
-may be incompatible with their initial purpose. For this reason, they must
be resilient and adaptable. You have to reinforce the meaning and purpose of
institutions due to the changes in voter populations(birth/death/migration)
-Essential British/American tradition:
1) Restrain on government
2) Arbitrary rule is contained through a system of checks and balances.
-The Constitution (Topic 2):
-BNA ACT OF 1867(RENAIMED THE CONSTITUTION ACT OF
1867)- Established a federal system, authority to make laws and tax was
divided between national/provincial governments and patriated the
constitution with an amendment formula. Established the new dominion of
Canada, defining powers of the national political institutions and dividing
jurisdiction between federal and provincial governments. Not much about
individual citizen rights. Provinces are made to be subordinate.
A) Divided into 11 parts and 147 sections:
1) Part 3&4: Executive and legislative power is established.
2) Part 4: Establishes legislative power by creating one
bicameral parliament for Canada which consists of the crown,
upper house and lower house. And the senate which has a
division of members in four regions and includes the length of
terms of their office and the series of operational procedures.
3) Part 5: Provincial constitutions is established. Includes
provisions for a lieutenant governor and executive and
legislative branch for each province.
4) Part 6: Federal division of power
5) Preamble to BNA states that we are federally united under
the crown, that the act will be similar in principle to that of the
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UK. This means we will have Parliamentary supremacy(Not
subject to any other authority.
-Concentrated on the relationship between governments
-Sec. 91(Power of fed Gov.): Enumerates powers of national parliament and
entrusts it to make laws for the peace, order and good government of Canada
in all matters not exclusively assigned to the provinces. This leaves Ottawa
with residual powers → any areas of jurisdiction that are not otherwise
accounted for in the specified distribution of powers. This includes powers
like general economic residual power over trade, and economic
management.
-Deeming Clause: Ensures that the federal governments powers will
not be subordinate to the provincial powers listed in section 92. This
gives the federal government powers of reservation and dissallowence
of provincial legislation.
A)Reservation Power: Lieutenant governor of the province has to
have the federal government has to approve provincial legislation
before it is passed.
B)Disallowence: Federal government has the power to strike down
laws passed in provincial jurisdiction(disallowing provincial
legislation)
-92 powers of provinces, 93 related to education, 94 overlapping powers.
Only focuses on one of the 3 relationships mentioned above.
-***Note: The spending power of the federal government, even though it is
not in the constitution, gives Ottawa more power since there is an unequal
division of spending power. Ottawa spends its excess revenues on programs
outside it’s areads of jurisdiction-> *FISCAL FEDERALISM (equalization
grants-Ottawa redistributes wealth from richer provinces to poorer ones)
-Sec. 92: Provincial areas of jurisdiction. Intends to restrict the provinces
revenue-generating capacities by limiting their taxation powers to the
imposition of direct taxes only (provinces depend on federal government
spending) + Mostly private nature like hospital and social services
-Declaratory power: Ottawa controls some local works which extend
beyond provincial boundaries or connect one province to another.
Example: sec.93 focuses on education but if a province
infringes on rights, affected groups can appeal to the federal
government.
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-Constitution Act (1982): 7 parts. Individual and group rights were
entrenched (charter).Formally ended Canada’s constitutional association
with the UK, they could now make changes without having to contact the
parliament in Westminster.
a) Part 1: Charter
b) Part 2: Aborigional peoples on Canada-
c) Part 3: Equalization-Requires the federal government to provide
equalization payments
d) Part 4: Constitutional conferences to address aboriginal issues
e) Part 5: Amending formula
-Section 38-40:General amending formula- Ratified by
resolutions of both houses of the federal parliament and
the legislatures of at least 2/3 of the provinces with 50%
of the population. (any 4 provinces can stop an
amendment)
-Section 38: Seven-fifty rule/ Federal government is the
only government with veto power.
-Section 39: seven-fifty rule is subject to a 3 year limit. If
the legislature approves the amendment, it must be
satisfied within 3 years or it dies out as ungratified.
-Section 41: UNANIMOUS- Subjects that can only be
amended by the approval of all the provincial
governments and the federal government. Applies to the
composition of the supreme court, the powers of the
crown and the amending formula itself.
-Section 43: Allows constitutional amendment affecting
one or more provinces but not all of them with the
consent of only those provinces concerned and the
federal government
-Section 44-45: Federal/provincial the right to amend
their own constitutions
-Section 46: Allows a commenced amendment to be
resended
-Section 47: Limits the power of the senate to a
suspensory veto(Can’t defeat an amendment, only delay
it)
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