POL214Y1 Fall 2010 Term Review

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Victoria Wohl

POL214Y Midterm Exam 2010 Midterm Exam Format Duration: 2 hours (2:10-4 PM, December 7, 2010) Location: Examination Facility, 255 McCaul St. (Rooms 100 and 300) Format: Choose 3 out of a selection of 9 questions and write short essays on them For each question there are likely to be 3 sub-topics to be discussed Tips Study according to the lecture overviews that Wiseman provides at the beginning of the lecture This exam is to show that you remember what we have talked about o You are supposed to describe and explain the significance of the concepts mentioned in the questions What are the implications of the topic? You should primarily be focused on Brooks- but refer to the texts in Russell if you want above 90% 2 Hours, 3 Essays Use your time wisely by sketching out an outline TA Paul prefers double-spacing Make sure to lay your main arguments out in the introduction paragraph Weeks 1&2: The Constitution and Constitutional Change September 14 & 21, 2010 Readings Stephen Brooks, Canadian DemocracyChapter 5: The Constitution o Appendix A: The Constitution Act, 1867 o Appendix B: Constitution Act, 1982 Peter Russell, Essential Readings in Canadian Government and Politics o Reading 9: Peter Russell, Canada- A Pioneer in the Management of Constitutional Politics in a Multinational Society o Reading 48: Night of the Long Knives o Reading 49: Supreme Court of Canada, Quebec Succession Reference o Reading 54: Russell, Constitutional Politics in a New Era Canada Returns to Old Methods o Reading 55: Sujit Choudhry, Constitutional Change in the 21 Century Terms IndividualsGroups Events Themes *Constitution *Supreme Court of *From *Constitutional *Constitution Act, 1867 Canada parliamentary Conventions *Constitution Act, 1982 supremacy to *Big C vs. Small C *ExecutiveLegislatureJudici constitutional constitutions ary supremacy *Canadas Three *Federalism *Persons Case Constitutional *Parliamentary Supremacy (1929) Pillars *The Amending Formula *Meech Lake Accord *Competing *Living Tree Constitution *Charlottetown Constitutional Accord (1992) Visions (4) 1 www.notesolution.com POL214Y Midterm Exam 2010 *Quebec succession reference (1995) Lecture Structure What is a constitution? 3 Constitutional Pillars (Responsible Government, federalism and charter rights) The difference between Big C and Small C constitutions (EG What is written vs. what are considered conventions) 4 Competing Constitutional Visions: o Pan-Canadian o Federal-Provincial Ensemble o Dualism o Aboriginal The Amending Formula The Constitution Lecture 1: September 14, 2010 What is a constitution? The governing principles of a country An outline of the division of power (executive, legislative, judicial) o Divisions between levels of government (federal & provincial) The supreme law of the land within a given territory, one which guides the formation of all other laws A constitution establishes and defines the community A constitution is a badge of nationhood- often revised after wars and revolutions Changing Meanings th The constitution referred to the rights of parliament during the 19 century Over time, it has come to encompass the rights of individual groups Constitutions deal with the question of who is in charge and who should rule, but in themselves are not a guarantee of either protection or even democracy- a country with a well-defined constitution can still have a dictator or suffer from internal problems The Role of a Constitution It establishes the machine of government It embodies the values that form a political culture It is shared by the people and shaped by them It should link the past, present and future -The essence of a constitution is how we imagine and perceive its significance as a document -What is more important: whats actually written in the constitution or what we think the constitution should convey? (E.G in terms of conventions not actually written down) The Canadian Constitution: There are three pillars which this course will focus upon: 1) Responsible government 2 www.notesolution.com POL214Y Midterm Exam 2010 2) Constitutional Conventions 3) Federalism Two key documents exist within the larger definition of a Canadian constitution: 1) The Constitution Act, 1867 (Also known as the British North America or BNA Act) 2) The Constitution Act, 1982 (part of the Canada Act that includes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms) this does not eliminate or supercede the BNA, but adds to it -Any laws that are inconsistent with the constitution have no force -The Charter of Rights & Freedoms actually granted rights to people; before it, the only actual rights were the right to have a trial in English or French, and the right to have a specific education in either Catholic or Protestant schools Constitutional Changes Lecture 2: September 21, 2010 What`s in the News -A vote regarding the Long-Gun registry (a private members bill to abolish it) -Which if it passes, only means it proceeds to third reading; however, since the vote failed to pass (By a 153-151 margin) it will be killed -The government is looking to expand the number of seats from 308-388, which will come at the expense of Quebec`s proportion of the seats The Evolution of the Constitution Continued: In the 19 century, the concept of Parliamentary Supremacy was prevalent among the separate elements of British Canada- the legislatures of Canada West, East etc. Dominated affairs within their regions (Responsible government- 1848) When Canada confederated in 1867, the government became federated, leading to two separate levels of government- a provincial legislature and a federal parliament The system became known as a Bifurcated Parliamentary Supremacyafter 1867- Canada was not just united, but also had to re-divide responsibilities that were previously wholly maintained by the provinces (e.g education became a provincial responsibility but defence became a federal one) Canadas constitution was modelled on the British one but differed because it now had to create and define responsibilities for two levels of government By 1982, the idea of Constitutional Supremacy had taken hold- Canadas constitution was patriated from Britain, and the country now had full rights to make laws under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms The Charter qualifies and limits parliamentary supremacy- at the same time, the charter also does not supercede parliament o The Charter is used as a standard on which laws are tested, but parliament can still make its own rules Whats the Difference between Big C and Small c Constitutions The Big Cs are the formal documents E.G the 1867 BNA Act and the 1982 Charter o However, these formal documents do not contain all the amendments made over time Changing Big C constitution is a lot harder Small c constitutions refer to all the constitutional rules- including amendments and judicial rulings that have changed the character of the constitution Included are constitutional conventions (non-codified, but understood and obligatory concepts) o Constitutional conventions are not enforced by courts, but are important in that they take into account 3 www.notesolution.com
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