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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Victoria Wohl

POL 214 Canadian Government and Politics Chapter 5 The Constitution Existence of constitution doesnt automatically guarantee that the gov. is democratic PRC doesnt have democracy In Canada it did not prevent the federal government from depriving Japanese immigrants of rights during WWII Forced sterilization of mentally retarded in Albert in the 1950s Constitution: fundamental law of a political system Other laws conform to it based on how and their substance Hobbes state of nature is a state of chaos in which no individual could feel secure in the possession of property or life This is why people demand constitution Alternative in this day is anarchy or totalitarianism Many opted for this when the Soviet Union dissolved Anarchy- no generally accepted ways of doing things. The state doesnt exist Totalitarianism state exists but it has unlimited power Social and economic life are subordinate to it 2 sets of relations when making a constitution Citizens and the state Empowers the state to act and pass laws on behalf of community Limits power Distribution of functions and power bw different parts of the state Mechanism: Legislature (makes the laws) Executive (implements them) Judiciary (interprets them) Canada law making powers are split between national and provincial governments Before 1982 (when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was implemented) rights of citizens were defined by courts in terms of federal and provincial legislative powers Set of rules that govern political life Written common law (decisions of courts) constitutional law Unwritten constitutional conventions those practices that emerge over time and are generally accepted as binding rules of the political system Conventions are not enforceable by law CONSTITUTIONAL FUNCTIONS REPRESENTAION
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