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Final

Final Exam Study Guide

6 Pages
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Department
Political Science
Course Code
POLB50Y3
Professor
Cochraine

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POLA51 – Final Exam Terms
Federalism Federalism is system of national government in which power is divided between a central
authority and a number of regions with delimited self-governing authority. In Canada, our Constitution
guarantees that sovereignty will be divided between the Federal Government and the Provincial
Government. These division of powers are listed in Sections 91 to 95 of the Constitution. There has been
significant criticism as the distribution of power is uneven between the two levels. Under the Residual
Clause, any are not specified in the Constitution automatically falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal
Government. Hence in Canada, it is more of an asymmetrical quasi-federal system. Federalism is
significant as it is the fundamental basis of our political system. It ensures that national needs of the
country are met while at the same time regional (provincial) needs are heard.
Liberal Democracy A form of representative democracy where elections are free and fair with
universal suffrage granted to all citizens. It is also known as a constitutional democracy and in Canada we
have a parliamentary system. Furthermore, the rights of freedoms of individual citizens are upheld in
liberal democracy and laws are interpreted through the judicial branch. Voting plays an important role in a
liberal democratic state. The citizens elect representatives to voice their concerns and implement policy
change. In Canada, our election system is based on a plurality (first past the post) voting system. The
phrase peace, order and good governance” is meant to uphold liberal democracy by our Constitution.
Direct vs. Indirect Democracy Direct democracy is also known as pure democracy where all citizens
can directly participate in the decision making process. Essentially, each citizen represents themselves in
the political system. Direct democracy is effective when the voters are regionalized and the total
population is relatively small. Unfortunately, this form of democracy does not work at a national level as
the populations are generally dispersed throughout the country. Indirect, or representative, democracy is a
means of governance by the people through elected representatives. Each region will select an individual
who will speak on their behalf at a central forum. In the case of Canada, MPs are elected to represent their
riding in the House of Commons. This form of democracy is effective when a large distributed population
exists across the country. An example of direct democracy would be during the Quebec Referendum when
are each Quebecer voted on sovereignty. An example of indirect democracy would be the upcoming
federal election on May 2nd.
Responsibility In political science, this term refers specifically cabinet collective responsibility. The
Cabinet must publicly support all government decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately
agree with them. This relates back to the idea of party discipline and that each political party in Canada
acts as one unified group. Cabinet Responsibility also ensures that the Prime Minister will always have
the support of his Cabinet during a vote of no confidence. In Canada, there have been rare occasions
where Cabinet Members were allowed to vote freely on certain issues. An example would be capital
punishment under Brian Mulroney.
Legislative, Executive and Judicial Power These three branches of government form the basis of our
political system. The Legislative consists of the sovereign, the House of Commons and the Senate. The
legislature has the power to introduce new bills, pass bills, make policy recommendations and adjust
current policies. It consists of the party in power as well as the opposition parties. Ultimately, the
legislature can make new laws. The Executive branch consists of The Crown (figurehead), the PM and the
Cabinet. Ultimately, this branch has the power to enforce laws and policies as decided by the Parliament.
They oversee the military, enforce the law and determine how the policies of Parliament should be carried
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out. Finally, the Judicial branch is responsible for interpreting the law and ensuring that laws do not
violate the Constitution. The judicial branch follows the common law legal tradition.
Separation of Powers This is a model of governance where a state is dividing into branches, each with
separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility so that no one branch has more power than
the other branches. In Canada, this is divided between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary. As
mentioned, separation of powers of is important as it ensures that each branch of government is held
accountable and responsible. It has been criticized that in Canada the separation of power is only
theoretically and does not exist in practice. This can be highlighted in the instance of a majority
government where the PM has power over both the legislature and the executive branch. This can be
referred to as the fusion of power which is the opposite of separation of powers.
Checks and Balances To prevent one branch from becoming supreme, protect the minority from the
majority and induce the separate branches to cooperate. Checks and balances allow for a system based on
regulation that allows one branch to limit another so that none of the three branches can gain supreme
control or is regarded above the law. For example, the legislate branch can pass a vote of non-confidence
to dissolve Parliament and potentially introduce a new executive branch. In Canada, checks and balances
are not as widely used due to our Parliamentary system. In Presidential systems, such as the United States,
it is much more common.
Bi-Cameral Legislature This is the practice of having two legislative chambers within Parliament.
Typically, there is an upper house and a lower house hence the term bicameral. The idea dates back to
ancient Greece where one house would represent the aristocracy and the other house would represent the
commons. In Canada though, the Senators are chosen in such a way that it achieves a balance of regional
interest whereas the Commons is mean to be representation by population. Bills can be introduced at
either level (other than money bills which can only be introduced in the Commons). It is important to note
that the Senate are appointed by the PM whereas the Commons are elected.
The Hose of Commons & The Senate These two houses comprise the Canadian Legislative branch.
The House of Commons are elected MPs who represent their specific riding and distribution of members
is done by population representation. The HoC holds 308 seats across Canada and have the power to
dissolve Parliament through a vote of non-confidence. The upper house, The Senate, has 105 seats and is
held by Senators who are appointed by the PM. They were meant to originally represent the elites within
Canada but since then have shifted to represent regional interests. Senators may serve until the age of 75.
Since Senators are not elected they often do not interfere with bills passed in the Commons (which is the
will of the people) but as Senators are much more experienced politicians, they can provide technical
knowledge. The Senate can also introduce bills except for money bills.
Cabinet The Canadian Cabinet is a body of ministers appointed by the Prime Minister. They comprise
of the Executive branch within Canada. The number of Ministers within Cabinet can vary by each party
and is based on the goals and needs of the current Prime Minister. Cabinet is significant to Canada as they
are responsible for taking laws and creating public policies for implementation. In effect, they enforce the
laws passed by the Legislative branch. Ministers within the Cabinet are also the head of their respective
department and responsible for overseeing those specific public policies. Cabinet must uphold collective
cabinet responsibility and present themselves as a unified group. Important Cabinet positions include the
Minister of Finance and Minister of National Defence.
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Description
POLA51 Final Exam Terms Federalism Federalism is system of national government in which power is divided between a central authority and a number of regions with delimited self-governing authority. In Canada, our Constitution guarantees that sovereignty will be divided between the Federal Government and the Provincial Government. These division of powers are listed in Sections 91 to 95 of the Constitution. There has been significant criticism as the distribution of power is uneven between the two levels. Under the Residual Clause, any are not specified in the Constitution automatically falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. Hence in Canada, it is more of an asymmetrical quasi-federal system. Federalism is significant as it is the fundamental basis of our political system. It ensures that national needs of the country are met while at the same time regional (provincial) needs are heard. Liberal Democracy A form of representative democracy where elections are free and fair with universal suffrage granted to all citizens. It is also known as a constitutional democracy and in Canada we have a parliamentary system. Furthermore, the rights of freedoms of individual citizens are upheld in liberal democracy and laws are interpreted through the judicial branch. Voting plays an important role in a liberal democratic state. The citizens elect representatives to voice their concerns and implement policy change. In Canada, our election system is based on a plurality (first past the post) voting system. The phrase peace, order and good governance is meant to uphold liberal democracy by our Constitution. Direct vs. Indirect Democracy Direct democracy is also known as pure democracy where all citizens can directly participate in the decision making process. Essentially, each citizen represents themselves in the political system. Direct democracy is effective when the voters are regionalized and the total population is relatively small. Unfortunately, this form of democracy does not work at a national level as the populations are generally dispersed throughout the country. Indirect, or representative, democracy is a means of governance by the people through elected representatives. Each region will select an individual who will speak on their behalf at a central forum. In the case of Canada, MPs are elected to represent their riding in the House of Commons. This form of democracy is effective when a large distributed population exists across the country. An example of direct democracy would be during the Quebec Referendum when are each Quebecer voted on sovereignty. An example of indirect democracy would be the upcoming federal election on May 2 .d Responsibility In political science, this term refers specifically cabinet collective responsibility. The Cabinet must publicly support all government decisions made in Cabinet, even if they do not privately agree with them. This relates back to the idea of party discipline and that each political party in Canada acts as one unified group. Cabinet Responsibility also ensures that the Prime Minister will always have the support of his Cabinet during a vote of no confidence. In Canada, there have been rare occasions where Cabinet Members were allowed to vote freely on certain issues. An example would be capital punishment under Brian Mulroney. Legislative, Executive and Judicial Power These three branches of government form the basis of our political system. The Legislative consists of the sovereign, the House of Commons and the Senate. The legislature has the power to introduce new bills, pass bills, make policy recommendations and adjust current policies. It consists of the party in power as well as the opposition parties. Ultimately, the legislature can make new laws. The Executive branch consists of The Crown (figurehead), the PM and the Cabinet. Ultimately, this branch has the power to enforce laws and policies as decided by the Parliament. They oversee the military, enforce the law and determine how the policies of Parliament should be carried www.notesolution.com
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