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POLS2910 Midterm Exam Study Questions.docx

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York University
Political Science
POLS 2910
Dennis Pilon

POLS2910 Midterm Exam Study Questions Part A: Short Answer Questions Meech Lake Accord The Meech Lake Accord was the document that outlined Quebec’s demands and is the result of a meeting Brian Mulroney had when he called all the premiers to Meech Lake in April 1987. The demands included constitutional recognition of Quebec as a “distinct” society, a veto on constitutional amendments affecting Quebec, increased jurisdiction over immigration, participation in Supreme Court appointments, and financial compensation if Quebec chose to opt out of any federal programs. All premiers agreed with this as it also gave them as individual provinces more power, which was opposed by the former Pierre Trudeau. Opponents of this accord, including Pierre Trudeau, was against Quebec being seen as a distinct society, as well as, have the power as a province to preserve this distinctiveness. The significance that this accord had on Canadian politics was that it disallowed the federal government to impose its wills on the provinces as well as allow one of the provinces of Canada to act on its own while placing demands on the federal government. Provinces were allowed to act with more liberty while the federal government essentially, just observed these actions. All legislatures had three years to approve the accord but approval of the accord ran into problems. The government of Newfoundland at the time agreed with Pierre Trudeau and rescinded the approval that, that province’s legislature had given. The Manitoba legislature delayed the approval of the accord, as it was not for the advance of the Aboriginal people. Neoliberalism Neoliberalism represents a new philosophy of government. This is a philosophy where all actions are consistent with a belief in individualism and lacked collectivist values. This drastic change in the philosophy of government took place around after 1985 when the Conservatives were in power. It was shift to the right in the wide political spectrum. This also comes at a time of Globalization where the world is becoming more globally integrated, where free trade is taking precedence. As a result, social programs were cut back, many Crown corporations were privatized, taxes were decreased, regulations were lowered and public servants were hired rather than hired. The government was seeking a more business-liberal agenda with a renewed reliance being placed on market forces such as privatization, deregulation, deficit reduction and cutting of social spending. In general, government intervention was reduced. This is significant to Canadian politics because it indicates the new direction politics in Canada, as well as the rest of the world including the United States, is taking. Many policies that were put in place in the past that make up Canadian politics are being minimized, an example being social spending. Charlottetown Accord The Charlotte Accord was formulated after the demise of the Meech Lake Accord. After several rounds of negotiations with the premiers, territorial first ministers and Aboriginal leaders to agree on a constitutional proposal, Quebec premier thought it was worth it to return to the bargaining table. So during a conference held in Ottawa, after a week of bargaining, all the leaders managed to come to an agreement on the new constitutional accord. The Charlottetown Accord, signed in Charlottetown, has four main provisions. The first provision was the Canada Clause, which retained recognition of Quebec as a distinct society within Canada, as well as enumerating other fundamental values and characteristics of the country. The second provision was the Triple-E Senate, which was where each province would have 6 senators, and the territories would each have 1, where they would be elected except in Quebec. To compensate Quebec and Ontario for loss of senators, both provinces would be given 18 additional seats and Quebec was guaranteed a min. of 25% of Common seats in perpetuity. The third provision was Aboriginal Self-Government, which was the inherent right to Aboriginal self- government, would be enshrined in the constitution, and Aboriginal self- government would constitute a 3 order of government, analogous to federal and provincial governments. The fourth main provision was the division of power where Ottawa would retain power from many field. This was important to Canadian politics as it changed the power that Parliament had on the individual provinces and in turn, people of Canada. Policy Communities A policy community is the notion that government policy is made in a series of discrete and specialized clusters of government departments and agencies, advocacy groups, politicians, corporations, and interested individuals. These individuals have an interest in that particular policy field and attempt to influence it. Policy communities are divided into two parts. The first part is the sub-government, which includes a lead government agency, other policymaking agencies, and a small group of interests with the right to be consulted. The second part of the policy community is attentive public who attempt to establish their legitimacy with the lead agency and if they achieve recognition, they may be appointed to advisory committees and be made part of the agency’s information flow. Policy communities are important to Canadian politics, as these are the groups that play a role in the knowledge and experimentation of policies that governments use to administer and are the policies that affect a Canadian’s everyday life. BNA Act The British North America (BNA) Act, which established Confederation, was the act of British Parliament that created Canada by combining Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and that also provided some of the essential elements of the new country’s Constitution. The union of these colonies, now provinces that made up Canada happened on July 1, 1867. This act went on to elaborate on the components that would be expected in a constitution. The BNA Act provided the basic machinery and institutions of government and establishing a federal system but it did not contain much detail about executive and judicial branches of government, as well as little about provincial constitutions. It was later named in the “Constitution Act” as there were several amendments made by British Parliament as well as several from the Canadian Parliament, the last being in 1982 when the last amendment was made and was passed by British parliament, terminating all British authority over Canada. This act was significant to Canadian politics as this act shaped and continues to shape the way the government is expected to function. Supremacy of Parliament The supremacy of parliament is the belief that no other organ of government can overrule Parliament. The British system is based on parliamentary restraints within parliamentary supremacy, a system that Canada has inherited. This is a basic principle of Canadian government. It allows Parliament to pass laws of any kind that were virtually beyond review by any other organ of government with the exception of interfering in provincial jurisdiction and other minor exceptions. This principle was modified to some extent in 1982 with an expanded power of judicial review incorporated in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The belief of the supremacy of parliament is important to Canadian politics because historically, this belief was the basis of t
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