POLB50Y3 Study Guide - Patriation, Backbencher, Charlottetown Accord
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POLB50 Exam Review: Definitons1
1.Legitimation Phase: Legitimation phase is after policy formulation
and before implementation. The proposal enters the legislative arena,
that is, Parliament – the House of Commons and the Senate. The
legislative stage is referred to as legitimation because the bill is put
under the scrutiny of all the democratically elected representatives of
the people and made legitimate by their approval. The first reading is
the introduction; the second reading consists of debating and voting.
This starts from committee stage, standing committees, special
committees, then report stage. Then the third reading is the
approval.The legitimation stage ends with the token approval of the
governor general, which is the sign that the policy has been officially
2.Interpretation Phase: This is where the policymaking process ends.
This phase is subject to judicial interpretation. Judges always had an
impact on a law by means of how they interpreted it, but if a statute is
actually challenged in the courts, the judiciary must decide whether its
provisions are contrary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms or to
the division of power between federal and provincial governments.
3.Mandatory Voting: Mandatory voting is a system in which electors are
obliged to vote in elections or attend a polling place on voting day. With a secret
ballot, voters remain free to spoil their ballot papers or remove them from the
polling booth, depending on the voting system. If an eligible voter does not attend
a polling place, he or she may be subject to punitive measures such as fines,
community service, or perhaps imprisonment if fines are unpaid or community
service not performed.
4.First Past the Post (Single Member Plurality): FPTP is Canada’s
current electoral system. •One local person per party on the ballot in a
riding. Vote for ONE PERSON (MARK ONE X). One person wins the
riding (electoral district). Generally produces Majority Governments.
Reduces Seats of “Extremist Parties”. Some issues with SMP in
Canada is that low voter turnout means that not all votes count, and
there is strategic voting. Majority of seats does not mean majority of
votes. For example Chretien liberals in 1993. Minor national parties
win more popular vote than seats. For example Green Part and NDP in
2008. In Canada, often regional parties can win many more seats that
there national popular vote; SMP favours electoral strategies that
5.Proportional Representation: Popular Vote better approximates
number of seats in the House of Commons. Redesign ridings so that
more than one seat is assigned to each riding. Every Vote Counts
(beyond a basic % threshold); Ends Strategic Voting: Vote for whom you
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POLB50 Exam Review: Definitons2
want! . More likely to see women and the diversity of Canada reflected
on the ballots from party lists. Minority/Coalition Governments become
norm, reflects more of the interests and ideas of a larger group of
Canadians (MPs become more relevant; Executive’s supreme power is
weakened. Parties can make clearer ideological commitments.
6.Mixed Member Plurality: This refers to the Ontario Referendum
2007. On October 10th, you were asked on the referendum ballot to
decide whether or not you want provincial electoral reform. The
proposal for electoral reform was based on a recommendation from the
Ontario Citizens’ Assembly on Electoral Reform. This recommended
changing our current electoral system, which is FTPT to a Mixed
Member Proportional System. In addition, the ballot has local
candidates, and party list members.
7.Single Transferable Vote: The single transferable vote (STV) is a voting
system based on proportional representation and preferential voting. Under STV
votes are initially allocated to an elector's most preferred candidate and then, after
candidates have been either elected or eliminated, any surplus or unused votes are
transferred according to the voters' stated preferences. The system minimizes
"wasted" votes, provides proportional representation, and ensures that votes are
explicitly cast for individual candidates rather than party lists. It achieves this by
using multi-seat constituencies (voting districts) and by transferring votes to other
eligible candidates that would otherwise be wasted on sure losers or winners.
8.Campaign Financing: Campaign finance refers to the fundraising and
spending that political campaigns do in their election campaigns. As campaigns
have much expenditure, ranging from the cost of travel for the candidate and
others might include the purchasing of airtime for TV advertisements. Most
contributors give to support candidates with whom they are already in agreement.
9.Third Party Advertising: Third party election advertising is political
advertising in any medium during an election period from the start to the polling
day with the purpose of promoting or opposing directly or indirectly, a registered
political party or the election of a registered candidate to the Ontario Legislature.
This includes but is not limited to advertisements appearing in print, broadcast, or
online. One example is when huge corporations such as Shell, Canadian Pacific,
Noranda, the Royal Bank, IBM, etc, funded more than $5 million for the
conservative party because they were in favour of free trade. Thus the
Conservatives benefited from some $5 million in advertising.
10.The House of Commons: The elected part of the Parliament of Canada.
Made up of 308 Members, the House alone is constitutionally authorized to
introduce legislation concerned with the raising or spending of funds.
Standing committee of the House of Commons on: transport, infrastructure
and communities, status of women, natural resources, justice and human
rights, and health.
11. Speech from the Throne:
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POLB50 Exam Review: Definitons3
13.Question Period: The question period is when all parties question
each other. It usually talks about dramatic conflicts, its noisy and
aggressive, and lots of disagreement. It is approximately 45 minutes
everyday. The purpose of having a question period is to place the
government on public stage so every can see it.
14. Responsible government: The phrase “responsible government”
describes the critical democratic component of the parliamentary
system, and yet it is nowhere to be found in the country’s written
Constitution. This is because it is a convention, that is an unwritten
rule that is followed by the political actors in the system. The
convention of responsible government dictates that the government,
meaning the prime minister and the Cabinet, must enjoy the support
—the confidence—of a majority of the elected members of the
legislature. When it loses that support the government will adivese the
governor general to call an election or it will offer to resign to enable
the governor general to find an opposition party prepared to form a
government in its place.
15. Minority Government: The other possibility is a minority government. A
minority government is where one party doesn’t win the seats necessary for a
majority (155), but still wins more than their competitors. Canada has had
minority governments since 2003, with current Prime Minister Stephen Harper in
power since 2006. His government has 143 seats, the most of all four parties.A
minority government is more complex because the opposition parties control the
majority of the seats. The government has to work with them, and often
compromise by passing pieces of their agenda in exchange for confidence. The
most notable recent example of this process was in 2005, when New Democratic
Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton successfully lobbied Liberal Prime Minister Paul
Martin for amendments to the budget dealing with money spent on infrastructure
and social programs. When the government loses confidence, it means that all
opposition parties have voted against them. All matters dealing with finance are
considered confidence motions; when Finance Minister Jim Flaherty presented
the fall economic update, the opposition parties effectively said they had no longer
had confidence in the Harper government.
16.Majority Government: A majority government is one where the victorious
party holds more than 50% of the seats. Canada’s parliament with 308 seats cut in
half is 154. A majority government would be considered a minimum of 155 seats.
Brian Mulroney was the last Conservative leader to have a majority, winning two
such mandates. The first was considered an overwhelming majority with
Mulroney winning 211 seats, the most in Canadian history. The second came in
1988 when he beat the Liberals. The Liberals won three consecutive majorities,
with the first coming in 1993, the second in 1997, and the third in 2000. Having a
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