Lecture 4 Parliamentary Government - Parliamentary Government in Canada The relationship between the legislature and the executive Canada as a

Lecture 4 Parliamentary Government - Parliamentary...

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Parliamentary Government in Canada - The relationship between the legislature and the executive - Canada as a constitutional monarchy - The role and functions of the executive - The cabinet - The role and functions of the legislature Canada’s Parliamentary System: Responsible Government - Responsible government as the cornerstone of parliamentarianism, i.e. the executive is answerable to the legislature and it can govern only as long as it enjoys the confidence of the legislature Feature of Parliamentary government in Canada - The relationship between the executive and the legislature - The executive and legislature are fused - The executive is drawn from the legislature and is composed of a prime minister and his/her cabinet - All members of the Cabinet serve at the PM’s pleasure - The executive is not directly elected - The executive governs - The PM is, among other thing, the leader of the party that won the most seats in the Commons after an election and the head of government - Formal title is Her Majesty’s Government - The governor-general is the British monarch’s representative, who is the head of state as Canada is a constitutional monarchy How does it work? - Mutual dependence between the legislature and the executive develops - Members of the legislature seek to become part of the executive, which governs, and showing loyalty - improves the chances of this happening - The executive can be brought down by the legislature - Party discipline ensures that the legislature remains loyal to the executive. The Official Opposition - Plays the government-in-waiting
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- Formal title is her majesty’s loyal opposition - The party with second most seats in the House of Commons forms the Official Opposition - Its role is to oppose and hold the government to account - Act as an alternative government - The official opposition is permitted to speak first after the government and is allotted a greater amount of time during question period - Greater amounts of office space and funding for research The upper and lower Houses of Canada’s Parliament - The house of Commons (the lower chamber) is where elected Members of Parliament sit - 308 seats are distributed on the principle of representation by population - The senate is seen as the house of sober second thought - The senators are appointed by the PM from Canada’s six regions - Ontario, Quebec, the West, and Atlantic Canada all get 24 seats - Only Quebec senators are awarded a specific district - The senate’s legitimacy has been diminished because are appointed and the tendency has been to delay legislation rather than reject it - To become a senator, the following qualifications are required: must be at least 30 yrs old, reside in the provinces or territories from which they are appointed, and own personal and real property worth the sum of 4000$ - The Speech from the Throne, which details the upcoming parliamentary session The Crown in Canada - The idea of the crown is centred on the head of state and it represents the entirety of executive powers
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