POL214Y1 Study Guide - Petro-Canada, Class Conflict, Representative Democracy

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Published on 16 Apr 2013
School
UTSG
Department
Political Science
Course
POL214Y1
STUDY PACK
POL 214 Week Two
September 17, 2012
1. Constitution and Constitutional Change: Supreme Court of Canada
The Constitution is the statement of the will of the people. Changes to be made to the
constitution are handled by legislatures and the governmental bodies, specifically MPs
who are elected by the people to represent their political values and wants for the country.
Every province has the ability to initiate constitutional changes. According to the
Supreme Court of Canada the Constitution is more than a written text, it embraces global
rules that exercise global authority.
The underlying principle of the constitution according to the Supreme Court of
Canada:
o Federalism
“recognize the diversity of the component parts of Confederation
and the autonomy of provincial governments to develop their
societies within their respective spheres of jurisdiction”
provinces are not constitutionally subordinate to the federal
government
Ottawa not dependent on the provinces for the exercise of power
assigned by the Constitution
Law making and revenue raising authority between central and
regional governments
o Constitutionalism and Rule of Law
Public authority must ultimately be exercised in accordance with
the law and that there will be one law for all persons
Everyone entitled to equal treatment under the law
Constitutionalism principle involves predicable governance that
has its source in written rules rather than in the arbitrary wills of
individuals
Parliamentary supremacy existed before the Charter was
entrenched, thus constitutionalism puts matters relating to rights
and freedoms beyond the reach of any government but now live in
a time of constitutional supremacy
o Respect for minorities
Constitution Act 1867 entrenched the principle of minority rights
Principle acquired a new level of prominence as a result of the
Charter of Rights and Freedom
o Democracy
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Constitution was remarkably silent when it came to the rights of
citizens before the Charter
Supreme Court explains “representative and democratic nature of
our political institutions was simply assumed”
The precise meaning of democracy has evolved over time,
example: Women did not have the vote for more than 50 years
after Confederation
Nationwide majority doesn‟t trump a provincial majority if the
matter constitutionally belongs to the provinces
Competing Constitutional Visions (4)
1) Pan-Canadian
- Trudeau envisioned the Pan-Canadian vision
- Who can ask Britain?
- Only the parliament of Canada expresses the ideals of the citizen
- Parliament represents the totality of the people of Canada
- Sole democratic bodies for Canadians
- Charter of Rights and Freedoms- generates the idea of equal citizens
- Community of equal citizens governed by majority rule and based on rule of law
2) Federal-Provincial Ensemble
- ex. S.6 mobility rights
- objections- changes based on what parliament wants and neglects provincial and
legislative bodies
- must look at Canada as a package amongst the provinces and federal government
- express a convention federalism
3) Dualism
- we live in a country split into two nations English and French
- partnership between two societies
- stresses Quebec distinctiveness from all the other provinces
- their national assemble is a guardian of their heritage
- the dualistic view of Canada
- only place where they are a majority and the need to protect
4) Aboriginal
- point to a constitutional document before 1763
- Royal Proclamation pg. 507 refers to the first nation people
- Their relationship predates the constitution formation
- Canada a productive tri-culture collective
- No independent political authority written into the constitution
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Amending Formula (5)
- fed and provincial members couldn‟t agree on a formula
- 1st convention London became a trustee as to how the changes were dealt with
- Britain would act on every request was agreed to
- 2nd convention 1875 the Canadian parliament had to make the request come in
a joint resolution
- Senate and House of Commons
- 3rd convention UK Parliament would not get involved when it came from a part
of Canada
- parliament would not ask for Britain changes that dealt with division of power
between provincial and federal governments
1) S. 38 and 42 General
- resolution passed by House of Commons and the Senate
- 2/3 of the legislature of the provinces that together comprise at least 50% of
population
2) S. 41 Unanimous Consent
- resolution passed by House of Commons and the Senate
- resolution passed by every provincial legislature
3) S. 44 and 45 Ottawa and one or more provinces
- if Ottawa, a resolution passed by the House of Commons and the Senate
- if a province, a resolution passed by its legislature
4) S. 43 Ottawa or a province acting alone
- resolution passed by House of Commons and the Senate
- resolution passed by the legislature of each province where the amendment
applies
Week 3
Brooks Chapter 8: The Machinery of Government
Constitutional Monarchy
Canada is a Constitutional Monarchy. The monarch (currently Elizabeth II) is a
symbolic of the political authority of Canada. Conventionally, the monarch is
responsible for appointing the Prime Minister, however this is not practiced today.
When the monarch is not present in Canada, she is represented by the Governor
General. The roles of the Governor General, like the Monarch, are mainly symbolic.
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Document Summary

September 17, 2012: constitution and constitutional change: supreme court of canada. The constitution is the statement of the will of the people. Changes to be made to the constitution are handled by legislatures and the governmental bodies, specifically mps who are elected by the people to represent their political values and wants for the country. Every province has the ability to initiate constitutional changes. Supreme court of canada the constitution is more than a written text, it embraces global rules that exercise global authority. The underlying principle of the constitution according to the supreme court of. Recognize the diversity of the component parts of confederation and the autonomy of provincial governments to develop their societies within their respective spheres of jurisdiction . Provinces are not constitutionally subordinate to the federal government. Ottawa not dependent on the provinces for the exercise of power assigned by the constitution.

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