GOVERNMENT%20OF%20CANADA%20-%20NOTES-1 - Wednesday...

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Wednesday September 7 th , 2011 Conference participation (20%) – 8 pts just for attendance Lectures are not recorded – but slides are available on WebCT Two in-Term exams (1 st – Thursday October 6; 2 nd – Thursday November 10 / Both exams will be held from 6:15 – 7:30 pm in Leacock 132.) Final Exam: essay type question TOPIC 1: Issues in Governing Canada “There is a major debate looming in this country about how we govern ourselves.” - Donald Savoie (major political scientist), Dec. 12, 2005 - Canadians are dissatisfied (w/ politics). (Voting rates going down – compared to the 60’s) Some people never had the chance to vote (other countries w/out democracy); makes you wanna reconsider the (symbolic) value of your vote. Harper won w/ 40% of 65% - says he represents the majority of Canadians. NOT. Members of parliament don’t represent us, they represent THEIR party to us. Elected dictatorship (Canada) – we elect a dictator for 4 years. Governor General has the power to say no to the prime minister. (or at least had when Harper asked about preparing a new economic statement) “Canada and the politics of fragmentation” – dangerous that 30% of the population is so dissatisfied that it wants to separate from the country (Qc) Charter revolution (charter of rights and freedoms) - country now run by judges Judges have much more power to pursue political objectives than they used to. (The charter gave them this new power.) According to the professor, it’s good to give the judges more power in politics – government has too much power, we need to divide it. GOALS: To introduce students to the basic institutions, actors and relationships that together compose the most basic components of the Government of Canada To show how the relationships have changed since the creation of Canada in 1867 while the basic institutions and actors have not. To highlight… (See WebCT for the rest) “Checks and balances existed in our system’s early days but have been eroded or lost their persuasiveness in the face of modern democratic values. The result is that the very concept of checks and balances has all but disappeared from the popular understanding of the process of government.” - Mallory -
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Friday September 9, 2011 “Almost every political institution is less effective than it should be.” - Mallory Governor general (appointed by the Queen) = check on the government Cabinet has lost his effectiveness on checking the prime minister. The PM has elevated himself above the Cabinet. Senate = check on the House of Commons Senate has lost his effectiveness on checking the House of Commons since not long after Confederation. House of Commons = check on the executives (individually or collectively)
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GOVERNMENT%20OF%20CANADA%20-%20NOTES-1 - Wednesday...

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