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Political Science
Course Code
Christopher Cochrane
Study Guide

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Part I: Multiple Choice (15 questions, worth 1 mark each, 15 marks total)
Part II: Define & Significance (5 questions, worth 5 marks each, 25 marks total)
Term: definition (2 marks) Significance (2 marks)
How does it relate to power in the policy-
making process/institutions? Think about:
democracy and/or the main debate on the issue.
Example (1 mark)
Legitimation Phase: applies to the House of
Commons and the Senate; when the policy
is introduced to Parliament for the people’s
approval; this process ends when the policy
receives approval from the Crown
Significant as this is the stage where the people
are able to give their input
Interpretation Phase: applies to the
judiciary; when the judiciary looks at the
piece of legislation to determine if it abides
by the Charter
Significant as this is the stage where the rights
of the people are considered in enacting
Mandatory Voting: making it necessary for
citizens to vote
Ensures that everyone is represented in the
results of elections, not just those who go out to
Australia has
mandatory voting
First Past the Post (Single Member
Plurality): Canadian electoral system which
means the winner takes all generally
produces a majority a government
Critiques: low voter turnout; discrepancy
between the % of the popular vote and the # of
seats; minor national parties win more of the
popular vote than seats (ie. NDP); favours
regional parties (ie. Bloc in Quebec)
Chrétien Liberals
majority in 1993
with 41.2% of the
pop. vote
Proportional Representation: Better
approximates the % of the popular vote and
the # of seats; every vote counts (beyond a
% threshold) would produce more
minority/coalition governments
More likely to include women; MPs become
more relevant as the executive’s power is
Under PR, the
Chretien Liberals
should have had a
minority in ’93
Mixed Member Plurality: legislature would
consist of Local Candidate seats (FPTP) and
Party List seats (Proportional Top Up from
Party Votes); 2 votes: member and party
more likely to produce majority than PR
More representative of the population as party
lists would be under scrutiny from the public
Referendum 2007
on provincial
electoral reform
Single Transferable Vote: candidates are
ranked by each voter but there is a threshold
% a candidate must get in order to win the
seat, once the threshold is met the remainder
of votes go to the 2nd ranked candidate
Failed to pass in
2005 and the
Spring of 2009 in
Campaign Financing: Unfair as parties with an excess of funds can
influence success
Third Party Advertising: When an
organization/group advertises for a
party/policy, as opposed to a political party
Supreme Court insisted there should be limits
on third party advertising as it can influence
Harper (before he
was PM): no
limits on third
party advertising
House of Commons Consists of MPs based on education/class,
gender, and race/ethnicity representative
Speech from the Throne: document
prepared by the PM and Cabinet and read by
the GG at the opening of Parliament;
outlines the government’s legislative
Standing Committees: a semi-permanent
committee of the House of Commons
Have real power

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parallel to a government department;
reviews legislation/spending
Question Period: 45 minutes in Parliament
where the opposition asks questions of the
Purpose: accountability
Responsible Government: A principle of the
Constitution which corresponds to the
Executive and legislative branch; the
executive requires the confidence of the
elected legislature in order to govern
Establishes democratic accountability as the
executive must resign or call an election if and
when it is defeated on a vote of nonconfidence
Minority Government: ruling party has less
than 50% of the seats in the House
Majority Government: ruling party has more
than 50% of the seats in the House
A positive thing as they can stick to the policy
objectives as outlined in their platform
Coalition Government
Party Discipline: party members must
follow their leaders in decisions
Maintains responsible government (support
from the party is necessary to maintain
Bill Casey was a
Conservative MP
who voted against
his party and was
thrown out
Free Vote: opposite of party discipline, in
which MPs are allowed to ‘vote their
Under PM Paul
Martin the vote on
changing the
definition of
Confidence Vote: important votes where a
loss in the Commons is taken as a loss of
Ensures responsible government The budget is a
confidence matter
Cabinet Member
Backbencher: people in the ruling party but
not in the Cabinet
Conservative MPs
The Senate: appointed body responsible for
‘sober second thought’
Considered weak because it is not elected, is ill-
representative of the provinces, and does not
have the same kind of power as the House of
Senate Reform: Triple-E (Elected, Effective,
Equal) Senate within which all provinces
would have an equal # of senators, who
would be elected and have effective powers
Federalism: A principle of the Constitution
which corresponds to the Executives of
federal, provincial/territorial governments,
and the judiciary (who acts as the umpire on
the division of powers); a system of
government characterized by two levels of
authority (federal and provincial) and a
division of powers between them, such that
neither is subordinate to the other
Opposite: a unitary system where a single
national authority directs policies for everyone
Representative? Democratic?
Purpose of Federalism:
a) Balancing Unity and Diversity
b) Divided authority protects citizens from
Deepens democracy by enhancing the people’s
representation and protecting against abuse at
any one level
Scholarship Fund
which was not
within the federal
Principle of Federalism:
a) Each Order of government is autonomous

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within its sphere of authority
b) Division of Powers is outlined in the
Constitution and cannot be unilaterally
Intrastate Federalism: how the region’s
interests are translated into policy-making
on the national stage
Interstate Federalism: how the
provinces/territories interact with the central
government on an equal playing field to
negotiate issues regarding shared rule
Executive Federalism: the form of interstate
federalism in Canada such that there is
extensive interaction between federal-
provincial first ministers, departmental
ministers, and deputy ministers
Problems: Different ideologies mean conflicting
ideas over where policy should go; provincial
autonomy is undermined by reliance on the
federal government
The process that
produced The
Meech Lake
Sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution of
1867: outlines the division of powers; S.91
lists the federal government’s power (banks,
money, oceans, military, aboriginal
relationships), and S.92 lists the provincial
government’s power (healthcare, social
welfare, municipalities, natural resources)
Peace, Order and Good Government:
opening words in S.91 describing the
residual powers of the federal government,
and the essence of Canadian political culture
Residual Powers: those powers not
explicitly given to the provinces but that
were assigned to the federal government in
the opening of S.91
Constitutional Amending Formula: the
process for amending the Constitution
which consists of 5 parts
Federal Powers of Reservations and
Disallowance: powers given the federal
government in the Constitution Act;
reservation means the provinces can refrain
from giving royal assent and send provincial
legislation to the federal Cabinet for
consideration; disallowance means the
PM+Cabinet can disallow any provincial
These powers are now obsolete
Federal Spending Power: the unofficial
power of the federal government to spend
money on any subject (even those in
provincial jurisdiction) and even to attach
conditions on grants to the provinces
Fiscal Federalism: how money is collected
and redistributed
Conditional Shared Cost Transfers:
programs paid for by the federal and
provincial governments, but with conditions
upon the provinces in order to receive the
Equalization Payments: payments to the Paul Martin
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