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Unformatted text preview: POL103Y1 Lecture Notes Constitutions  What is it? o Defines (a) state institutions & (b) their relations – who has power! • ... in written document (US) • ... or by unwritten conventions (UK) • Canada? →Canadian Constitution is a mixture of principles→ reflects written and unwritten concepts  Legislatures & Executives • (i) Legislature: Makes law (statutes) • (ii) Executive: Executes law , forms government , sponsors most statutes  Entrenched Rights • Is there (a) a written guarantee to (b) protect citizens’ rights (‘in principle’ ...) o US: Yes! o UK: No!  Judiciary and ‘rule of law’ • (a) Courts authoritatively interpret law ... making ‘common law’ in process  Canada? BNA Act (1867) : • Exec/leg unwritten [like UK] • BNA is written re. federalism [like US] • No bill of rights Constitution Act (1982): • ‘entrenches’ Charter of Rights & Freedoms • Constitution Act also includes amending formulae The Courts & Civil Liberties [a] Civil liberties in liberal democracies • L.D.: majority rule balances minority rights • Courts as a ‘balancer’ ... • For legal & political rights , but not social [c] Canadian Charter of Rights & Freedoms • it includes ... • [i] fundamental freedoms, legal rights, equality • [ii] Democratic, mobility, & language rights • ‘Notwithstanding’ limits • ‘Reasonable Limits’ limits all [d] Judicial Review & ‘Activism’ • Canadian public mostly like Charter • ‘Experts ’ mostly critical, right and left Executives & Bureaucracy a) Legislatures and cabinets b) Cabinets and bureaucracy c) PM and cabinet • Executive or cabinet consists of PM & other ministers appointed to cabinet • Bureaucracy : unelected, hired, officials who assist cabine • Bureaucrats are accountable to ministers, who are responsible to parliament [a] Does legislature control cabinet? o Cabinet, ministry of state, parliamentary secretary o Threatens o Control of opposition o Result: cabinet dominates relation [b] Do Canadian cabinets control bureaucracy? o Most bureaucrats in specialized departments o ... with ‘line’ (delivery) responsibilities o ... or ‘staff’ (coordinating) ones: PMO, PCO, Finance, Treasury Board o Department is accountable to its ministers through deputy minister (DM) o A ‘power centre’ of PM, ‘senior’ ministers, key ‘staff’ bureaucrats ... o ... dominates rest of cabinet, bureaucracy  Federalism & its Varieties • Divided sovereignty • Requires written constitution, judicial ‘umpire’ • Some more centralized than others • ‘Confederation’? –supreme power that is a creature of the junior powers that come together  Canadian Federalism • We rely on ‘inter-state’ division of powers • Overall, Canadian federalism appears as a giant S →Federal Powers at the top right (1867); Provincial Powers (1930); Re-centralized powers (1960); decentralization again (2008)  Multi-Level & Global Governance •...
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course POL 103 taught by Professor Kopstein during the Spring '07 term at University of Toronto- Toronto.
- Spring '07