Textbook Notes (369,205)
Canada (162,462)
POLI 222 (24)
Chapter 1-2

Canadian Poli Text Notes Chapter 1-2

3 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 222
Antonia Maioni

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POLI 222: Reading Notes Chapter 5: The Constitution Constitution:Aset of fundamental rules that govern political life in a particular territory. Early liberals (Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau): “state of nature” shows the impulse behind constitutional government. • Insecurity leads people to accept the need for a constitution (Hobbes: “Life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”) Alternative to constitutional government: anarchy or totalitarianism. • Anarchy: Chaos and civil strife. No state. • Totalitarianism:All dissent is suppressed in the name of some supreme goal. There is a state. Two sets of relations: 1. Between citizens and the state 2. Functions and powers between different parts of the state. a. Legislature: Making the law. b. Executive: Implementing the law. c. Judiciary: Interpreting the law. Federal system: Form of government with a constitutional division of law-making powers between a national government and regional governments; the constitutional authority to make laws and to tax is divided between a national government and some number of regional governments. • Makes third set of relations: between federal and provincial legislative powers Constitutional conventions: Practices that emerge over time and are generally accepted as binding rules of the political system. =/= Constitutional law. Representation by population: the principal of “one person – one vote,” where all elected members of the legislature should represent approximately the same number of voters. • Constitution establishes how representation occurs • How public officers are selected • Electoral process affects representation Single-member constituency system (“first past the post): each constituency (riding) gets one representative in the HOC and/or provincial legislature • Prevents parties from pandering to specific sections of the voters o Eg. Green’s failing to get any seats despite having 6.8% of popular vote Proportional representation: a party’s percentage of the popular votes translates into a corresponding share of seats in the legislature. • Promotes splintering of the party system • Direct representation of narrower interests The constitution allocates/decides who has power, but also limits and divides power. Right: Something that a person is entitled to. Codified:Aformal, written constitution (Iran). Uncodifed: Non formal/written (Britain, Israel). Canada has both: many of the powers of government, as well as the limits of governmental power, are un
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