The Canadian Regime An Introduction to Parliamentary Government (15).pdf - the Canadian Regime the canadian regime Sixth Edition AN IN T RO D UC T I O N

The Canadian Regime An Introduction to Parliamentary Government (15).pdf

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Unformatted text preview: the Canadian Regime the canadian regime Sixth Edition AN IN T RO D UC T I O N T O PA R L I A M E NTA RY GO V E R NM E NT I N CANAD A Patrick Malcolmson, Richard Myers, Gerald Baier, and Thomas M.J. Bateman Copyright © University of Toronto Press Incorporated 2016 All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without prior written consent of the publisher—or in the case of photocopying, a licence from Access Copyright (Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency), 320–56 Wellesley Street West, Toronto, Ontario, m5s 2s3—is an infringement of the copyright law. Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication Malcolmson, Patrick N., 1953–, author The Canadian regime : an introduction to parliamentary government in Canada / Patrick Malcolmson, Richard Myers, Gerald Baier, and Thomas M.J. Bateman.—Sixth edition. Includes index. Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 978-1-4426-3596-8 (paperback).—isbn 978-1-4426-3597-5 (hardback).—isbn 978-1-4426-3598-2 (html).—isbn 978-1-4426-3599-9 (pdf  ). 1. Canada—Politics and government—Textbooks. I. Bateman, Thomas Michael Joseph, 1962– author II. Myers, Richard M. (Richard Morley), 1957–, author III. Baier, Gerald, 1971–, author IV. Title. jl75.m34 2016   320.471   c2016-901201-8 c2016-901202-6 We welcome comments and suggestions regarding any aspect of our publications—please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or visit our Internet site at . North America 5201 Dufferin Street North York, Ontario, Canada, m3h 5t8 2250 Military Road Tonawanda, New York, usa, 14150 uk, Ireland, and continental Europe nbn International Estover Road, Plymouth, pl6 7py, uk orders phone: 44 (0) 1752 202301 orders fax: 44 (0) 1752 202333 orders e-mail: [email protected] orders phone: 1-800-565-9523 orders fax: 1-800-221-9985 orders e-mail: [email protected] The University of Toronto Press acknowledges the financial support for its publishing activities of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund. This book is printed on 100% recycled paper. Printed in the United States of America The authors would like to dedicate this edition of The Canadian Regime to Janet Ajzenstat. Her work has made the serious study of the genesis and character of the Canadian regime an essential part of Canadian political science. Contents Preface...............................................................................................................xi Map Parliamentary Representation by Province.................................................................................................. xvi Part One Introduction............................................................................................. 1 Chapter One Canada’s Regime Principles............................................................ 3 1.1 Political Regimes............................................................................................. 3 1.2 Equality and Democracy: Direct versus Indirect Government...................... 5 1.3 Liberty............................................................................................................. 8 1.4 The Canadian Regime................................................................................... 11 Chapter Two The Constitution................................................................................. 13 2.1 Constitutions and Their Functions................................................................ 13 2.2 Constitutional Forms: Conventions and Laws.............................................. 16 2.3 The Canadian Constitution........................................................................... 22 2.4 Amending Canada’s Constitution................................................................ 29 2.5 Judicial Review of the Constitution.............................................................. 30 2.6 Constitutional Politics Since 1982................................................................. 31 Part Two The Pillars of the Canadian Constitution: Responsible Government, Federalism, and the Charter����������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 35 Chapter Three Responsible Government............................................................... 37 3.1 The Emergence of Responsible Government.............................................. 38 3.2 The Conventions of Responsible Government............................................. 40 3.3 Responsible Government as “Cabinet Government”.................................. 42 3.4 Forming a Government................................................................................. 43 contents 3.5 Majority and Minority Government.............................................................. 47 3.6 Institutional Implications of Responsible Government................................ 50 3.7 Responsible Government and Separation of Powers Compared................ 54 Chapter Four Federalism.................................................................................................... 58 4.1 What Is Federalism?...................................................................................... 59 4.2 Why a Federal Union?................................................................................... 60 4.3 The Original Design of the Federal Union................................................... 62 4.4 The Historical Development of Federalism in Canada................................ 63 4.5 Financing Government and Federal-Provincial Relations............................ 66 4.6 Other Orders of Government: Territorial, Municipal, and First Nations.................................................................................................. 70 4.7 The Challenge of Canadian Federalism....................................................... 72 4.8 Current Controversies: The Pressure to Decentralize ................................. 76 Chapter Five The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms............................................................................................ 80 5.1 What Is a Charter of Rights?......................................................................... 80 5.2 How the Charter Works: Gosselin v. Québec............................................... 81 5.3 Remedies....................................................................................................... 83 5.4 The Adoption of the Charter........................................................................ 85 5.5 Opposition to the Charter............................................................................ 88 5.6 The Notwithstanding Clause........................................................................ 92 5.7 Section 1........................................................................................................ 94 5.8 The Political Impact of the Charter............................................................... 97 Part Three Institutions�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 101 Chapter Six The Crown and Its Servants.................................................... 103 6.1 The Crown................................................................................................... 104 6.2 The Governor General................................................................................ 105 6.3 The Functions of the Governor General..................................................... 106 6.4 The Cabinet................................................................................................. 110 6.5 The Cabinet Committee System................................................................ 113 viii contents 6.6 The Prime Minister...................................................................................... 114 6.7 Prime Ministerial Government?.................................................................. 116 6.8 The Civil Service.......................................................................................... 118 Chapter Seven Parliament................................................................................................. 123 7.1 The Role of Parliament................................................................................ 124 7.2 The Parliamentary Calendar....................................................................... 126 7.3 The House of Commons: Membership and Officers................................. 127 7.4 The Business of the House of Commons.................................................... 131 7.5 The Rules of Procedure of the House of Commons................................... 133 7.6 The Backbencher........................................................................................ 135 7.7 House of Commons Reform........................................................................ 136 7.8 The Senate................................................................................................... 138 7.9 Senate Reform............................................................................................. 140 Chapter Eight The Judiciary........................................................................................... 145 8.1 The Role of the Judiciary............................................................................ 145 8.2 The Fundamental Principles of the Canadian Judiciary............................. 150 8.3 Canada’s Courts.......................................................................................... 154 8.4 The Supreme Court of Canada................................................................... 159 8.5 The Politics of Judicial Appointments........................................................ 160 8.6 Judicial Power and the Charter.................................................................. 164 Part Four Canadian Democracy in Action: Elections, Parties, and Policy������������������������������������������������ 167 Chapter Nine Elections..................................................................................................... 169 9.1 Elections and Representation..................................................................... 169 9.2 Representation and Diversity..................................................................... 172 9.3 Canada’s Current Electoral System: SMP................................................... 175 9.4 Voting in Canada......................................................................................... 178 9.5 Polls and Electoral Choice.......................................................................... 181 9.6 The Effects of SMP...................................................................................... 183 9.7 Proportional Representation...................................................................... 186 ix contents 9.8 Single Transferable Vote............................................................................. 189 9.9 Electoral Reform.......................................................................................... 190 Chapter Ten Political Parties................................................................................... 194 10.1 Political Parties in the Canadian Regime.................................................... 194 10.2 The Five Functions of Political Parties........................................................ 196 10.3 Parties and Ideology................................................................................... 197 10.4 Canada’s Major Parties............................................................................... 200 10.5 The Canadian Party System........................................................................ 204 10.6 The Organization of Political Parties.......................................................... 208 10.7 Financing Political Parties........................................................................... 211 10.8 Party Government and Party Politics......................................................... 213 Chapter Eleven Public Policy............................................................................................ 215 11.1 The Canadian Regime and Public Policy.................................................... 215 11.2 Institutional Forces...................................................................................... 217 11.3 Public Policy and Canadian Society............................................................ 219 11.4 Case Study: Health Care............................................................................. 222 11.5 Case Study: Energy Policy.......................................................................... 229 Conclusion............................................................................................... 236 Appendix The Constitution Acts 1867 and 1982.............................. 241 Constitution Act, 1867.......................................................................................... 241 Constitution Act, 1982.......................................................................................... 275 Index............................................................................................................... 291 x Preface Of all regimes, the democratic regime is in greatest need of a politically educated populace. The democratic principle requires the rule of the people. Such rule demands that the people have an education in politics that makes “government by the people” both possible and prudent. If the great body of voting citizens lacks such an education, two consequences follow. First, people become passive and unwitting followers of the opinion leaders of the day. Demagoguery becomes indistinguishable from principled political rhetoric, and the tyranny of the majority—the Achilles’ heel of democracy—grows more probable. Second, people come to have entirely unrealistic expectations of politics. Lacking any clear understanding of what is possible, they let their hopes, desires, and dreams govern their political demands. There is ample evidence to suggest that both of these characteristics are easily observable in Canadian politics today. We believe that this is due, in large part, to the poor condition of civic education in contemporary Canada. This book has been written in the hope of strengthening Canadian civic education. Our book is an attempt to explain and describe the most important political institutions of Canada’s national government. Its premise is that Canadians— citizens, university students, and even many of our politicians—need a straightforward, explanatory introduction to these institutions. Our aim is to educate Canadians to a sober and realistic set of expectations about politics by explaining xi preface the institutional limitations that structure all political action. The connection between institutions and issues is very clear. How can one intelligently discuss problems concerning the tax structure without some understanding of federalism? Or laws governing assisted suicide without some understanding of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Supreme Court? Or the role of a Member of Parliament (MP) without understanding the nature of parliamentary or responsible government? Yet all too often one finds that people want to discuss current political problems without giving any consideration to how these issues are tied to the structures and institutions of government. Thus, the local MP is criticized for always voting the party line, with little consideration of how the Canadian form of parliamentary democracy makes it exceedingly difficult for MPs to vote against their party on any crucial political issue. One might liken such discussions to criticizing a chess move without understanding the rules of chess. Our basic objective is to present the reader with a short and clear account of Canadian government. We have tried to focus on the logic of how our institutions work and how they fit together. For that reason, this book, unlike similar texts, concentrates more on explaining basic principles and less on describing the arcane details of our institutions. We have tried to ensure that our account is written in straightforward language and that all technical terms are clearly explained. We have also tried to write the book so that it presupposes little prior knowledge of the subject matter. It is gratifying to hear from readers of previous editions that its clarity has been appreciated. While our primary objective has been to provide the reader with a clear account of Canadian government, we have also been guided by a second objective. There is a thread that runs through the entire book, an underlying theme that endows it with unity and purpose. We have used the term “regime” to suggest that a country’s political institutions form an organic whole, a kind of complex ecosystem with an inner logic and coherence that holds it together.1 The Canadian regime is a political ecosystem whose inner logic derives from its unique combination of responsible government and federalism, a combination that explains why our institutions are what they are and why we do things the way we do. By extension, it also explains why we do so many things differently from our neighbours to the south: the American regime is built on a different 1 James W. Ceaser, Liberal Democracy and Political Science (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), 41: “The regime or form of government is the most inclusive concept of traditional political science: it refers to the form or shape of a society, as fixed by who or what rules, and by the principles of justice and the sentiments that dominate society.” xii preface combination of core principles, namely, separation of powers and federalism. Throughout the book, we try to explain Canadian institutions and practices in terms of the underlying regime principles that govern them. Frequently, one of the best ways to make our point is to contrast Canadian practices with those of the United States, showing how our approach is the logical consequence of responsible government while theirs is the logical consequence of the separation of powers. This direct comparison of regime principles makes it easier for readers on both sides of the border to understand the regime logic of both countries. That, in turn, makes our book particularly useful for political science instructors in the United States who want their students to learn about the parliamentary alternative to separation of powers and find it more appropriate to use their northern neighbours as the test case rather than European countries such as Britain, Italy, or Germany. Our primary concern, however, is to provide Canadian students with a greater appreciation of, and respect for, their own country’s regime. For whatever reasons, it has become fashionable in Canada to advocate the adoption of American political practices in place of our own. In 1982, our Constitution was expanded to include an American-style charter of rights. We continue to hear calls for an American-style Senate, an American-style procedure for screening Supreme Court nominees, American-style primaries for leadership selection, and American-style representation (so that MPs pay less attention to the “party line” and vote more in accordance with the wishes of their constituents). After the much-hyped debate between Senator Biden and Governor Palin in the 2008 American presidential race, some commentators went so far as to suggest that Canada also needs an American-style vice-presidential debate! Such innovations strike many Canadians as being more “democratic” or more “progressive” than what we have here now, but it is doubtful whether many appreciat...
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