Canadian Politic1

Canadian Politic1 - Canadian Politics Canada is a federal...

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Canadian Politics Canada is a federal parliamentary democracy within a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the sovereign (currently Queen Elizabeth II), and the head of government is the prime minister (currently Stephen Harper). Any citizen at least 18 years old may vote in any election, with two exceptions: the Chief and Deputy Chief Electoral Officers. The federal government consists of the House of Commons, the Senate, the Governor- General, the Supreme Court and other lesser courts, and the usual assortment of bureaucrats, soldiers, and the like. The House of Commons has 308 members, all elected to represent districts known as "ridings" for a variable term not to exceed five years (in practice, it's usually four for a majority government and two for a minority), with no limit on how often they may be re-elected. The size of this body varies, and in practice increases size every 10 years after each census. The Senate has 105 members, all appointed(though in one case the appointed Senator was chosen in a special election by the province he represents) and serving until age 75. It essentially does nothing. (Well, okay, it's more complicated than that, but the Senate, being appointed rather than elected in most cases, has rubber-stamped legislation from the House of Commons for decades. They are not allowed to introduce financial legislation.) Technically, the Senate is the place for "sober second thought", where the mobbish tendencies of democracy can be curbed and where legislation can be considered away from public pressure. The Senate can suggest changes to the bills, or delay a bill until it expires on the table, but it has almost never defeated one outright. The Senate —following a bit from the American Political System —also allows for some regional representation, where the number of senators from each province is much more equalized. Due to the fact that the senator's seat is usually employed as a way reward cronies or as a way to get troublesome allies out of the way, and due to a recent scandal where some senators seem to have spent most of their terms in Mexico on vacation, there as been a call for elections for senators,
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although the notion was soon discarded after the new government realized it could stack the deck with its own cronies. The Governor-General, currently David Johnston, is the representative of the Sovereign, appointed in theory by the Sovereign and in practice by the Prime Minister, and has a mammoth assortment of powers, ranging from the ability to dissolve Parliament, appoint Senators, Supreme Court Justices, all high-ranking bureaucrats, and the Prime Minister and Cabinet (though they must keep the approval of the House of Commons). He is also Commander-in-Chief of the military. However, these powers are bound by a large amount of unwritten convention, and are almost never used except on instruction from the Prime Minister - the last time they were, in 1926, the resulting "King-Byng Affair"
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  • Winter '09
  • Conservative Party of Canada, Progressive Conservative Party of Canada, New Democratic Party, Liberal Party of Canada

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Canadian Politic1 - Canadian Politics Canada is a federal...

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