Chapter 2. - Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches; Rand Dyck

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Christopher Cochrane

Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches by Rand Dyck Chapter 2: Institutional Foundations and The Evolution of the State EARLY SETTLEMENT AND POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS Pg. 27 – Canada first occupied by Aboriginals - 1600s France settlement in Quebec - 1713 – Treaty of Utrecht – Britain control Nova Scotia and Newfoundland - 1759 – Britain conquest of Quebec (Battle of the Plains of Abraham) Pg. 28 - 1763 – Treaty of Paris, Britain gained PEI, Cape Breton, NB - Royal Proclamation of 1763 – 1 Canadian constitutional document by British colony of Quebec (protect interest of Aboriginals) - 1867 British North America Act (Constitution Act) - Quebec Act – establish a council to advise the Governor but no elected assembly  Combined British criminal law with French civil law  Roman Catholics freedom of religion, can be appointed to council - 1776 – 13 colonies declare independence Pg. 29 – Constitutional Act of 1791 – divided the colony in 2 – Upper and Lower Canada - Upper – mostly English, British civil law - Representative government – (1791) a set of political institutions that included an elective legislative assembly - Lower Canada cultural - Demanded responsible government – advisers to governor would be chosen from and reflect the views of the elected assembly - Durham Report – the executive branch govern only as long as it retain confidence of the elected assembly. Governor follow advice of colonial authorities, act as an agent of British government. Pg. 30 – responsible government – a form of government which executive retain the confidence of the elected legislature and must resign or call election when it’s defeated on a vote for nonconfidence - Durham wants Upper and Lower Canada to unite - Act of Union – (1840) – English/French leaders, French recognized as official language of legislature THE ROAD TO CONFEDERATION - After responsible government, decided to unite for economic purpose - Then Canada East (Quebec) and Canada West (Ontario, 2 parts were quite different - Felt vulnerable military Pg. 31 – British North America Act – Ontario and Quebec united July 1, 1867 and renamed Constitution Act 1867 Pg. 32 – Canada now consist of 3 semi-autonomous territories: Yukon, NWT, Nunavut THE BRITISH PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM COMPARED WITH THE AMERICAN CONGRESSIONAL SYSTEM Pg. 33 – the core of parliamentary system was the prime minister and the Cabinet - They retain position as long as they are supported by majority in Parliament - The system termed “fusion of powers” combination of legislative and executive powers - Prime minister and Cabinet have seats in Parliament - The bureaucracy advises the prime minister and Cabinet on their decisions and carries out government programs have been authorized - Senate’s are appointed, not elected and powers equal to House of Commons Pg. 34 – judicial independence – judges appointed but expected to operate independently of the executive and legislative branches of government - Judicial review – power to declare laws invalid - The US system, president and 2 houses of legislature independently elected  Executive, legislative, judicial powers are distributed to 3 separate branches: the president, Congress, the courts  “checks and balances” – branches subject to veto Pg. 35 – house of representative and Senate have more legislative power - Fathers of Canadian Confederation adopted nothing from US system CANADIAN AND AMERICAN FEDERALISM - The model of American federalism influence the design of Canada - Confederation, the work of John A. Mcdonald (1 prime minister) - Compromise of central government and provincial governments Pg. 36 – Macdonald intended country to be highly centralized federation - Federalism – a division of powers between central and regional governments such that neither is subordinate to the other - The lower house of the legislature based on representation by population - Base the Senate of equal regional
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