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Poli 221 Ultimate Study Guide

Poli 221 Ultimate Study Guide - Canadian Politics Terms...

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Canadian Politics Terms – Ultimate Study Guide #1 - Topic #1: Issues in Governing Canada - Checks and Balances o Cabinet (Is suppose to) be a check on the Prime Minister, Senate check on House of Commons, House of Commons check on the executive, however all of the later are less effective and have lost their capacity to checks and balances o This means to hold the government accountable and responsible o This results in a large increase of power for the Prime Minister o We the people were suppose to have our say on what the Prime Minister does, a check on him, but we don not anymore except when we elect him - Dignified power o Symbolic power (usually traditional) and not very influential - Efficient power o Real authentic power that has the capacity to implement change - Basic institutions - The Executive o Comprised of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, who perform the political functions of the Crown o Notes include Monarchy and Governor General - Governor General o The Crown’s representative in Canada o Appointed by the queen, suppose to be a check on government o Prime Minister cannot fire the Governor General (must ask Queen to do so) o Governor Genera could fire the Prime Minister (not sure anymore however) - Monarchy o Queen of England, Head of state (if she comes to Canada) o Constitutional Monarchy BNA Act gives the Crown, acting through the GG virtually unlimited executive power Canada is a constitutional monarchy in which the executive powers of the Crown are exercised by the prime minister and Cabinet They merely advise the Crown, in practice the GG always defers to this political executive - The Prime Minister o Occupies the position at the top of the political executive because he or she leads the party with the most seats in the House of Commons - Cabinet o Cabinet ministers must be drawn from the governing caucus, made up of MPs, and to a lesser senators, from the leading party, who were elected to represent particular constituencies in Parliament o Cabinet proposes almost all the bills that are eventually passed into law, and all legislation must be passed by both Houses of Parliament and signed by the Crown’s representative o (suppose to) perform check on individual members of the Cabinet and on the Prime Minister o The Prime Minister has the power to appoint, demote or fire the members of Cabinet this new power has a consequence that basically no one can check the Prime Minister
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- The Constitution o The Country’s master institution o Overarching institution that maintains order and structure o Represents basic values of political system o Most fundamental and comprehensible rulebook for public right o Establishes the most fundamental and parameter of power: In terms of relationships: Citizens (the governed) and their government Branches of government (courts, legislative, etc.) Between federal and provincial levels government o Comprised of more than the written constitutional law found in the original British North
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