How effectively does Canada’s
federal political system govern for
all Canadians?
A look at our political system...
Questions to Find
Out
What is the structure of
Canada’s federal political
system?
How do laws become laws?
The Constitution
Describes the governance of
Canada
Sets out the roles of the
different roles of government
Has the three branches
working together
Has the Charter of Rights and
Freedoms
British Monarch
Represented by the governor
general in Canada
They are the formal head of
state
Figurehead (no concrete
power)
The Executive
Branch
Responsible for putting laws into action
Consists of the prime minister and the
cabinet
PM is head of government, are elected
as a leader of the political party
The cabinet includes people with
responsibilities for different government
departments and agencies (portfolios)
Executive Cont’d
Some of the portfolios are
health, finance, environment,
etc
Cabinet ministers are a part of
the leading political party
The PM assigns the portfolios
The cabinet proposes ideas
for laws
What factors do you think the
prime minister takes into
account when appointing the
members of cabinet?
As prime minister, how could
you use cabinet positions to
respond to issues about
government that concern
Canadians?
Political Parties
Group of people who have
similar ideas on how to face
issues
Are organizations
Candidates run for them in
elections
The parties develop policies
You could even join a political
party if you wanted!
The Legislative
Branch
The major law making body
Contains the House of
Commons, the Senate, and
the governor general
Also called parliament
They debate, study, and vote
on laws (bills) which are
proposed
Legislative Branch
Cont’d
HofC is made up of MP’s; voters
elect them
Each MP represents a riding or
district and they run under a specific
political party
HofC is done in English AND French
Representation is based by
population
Majority vs. Minority
Government
It is easy for the government
to get bills passed if they have
a majority
If they have a minority they
have to try and get support
from another political party so
that they can get 50% on a
vote
If you were prime
minister, to what extent
would you work with the
opposition?
ttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOD1yZbIik8
MP’s
Roles
Have two key responsibilities:
Represent their constituents (a
person who lives in a riding who is
represented by an official.... and
MP)
Create legislation for the peace,
order, and keep good order of
government for all Canadians
Is elected by winning the most
votes in their constituency
Popular Vote
The total support political parties win
during an election, regardless of
whether they win ridings
The number of ridings depends on
population
Province
Federal Ridings
Population
(2006)
Alberta
28
3.3 million
Saskatchewan
14
1.0 million
BC
36
4.1 million
What if the government was counted by
popular vote instead of by riding?
The Senate
Are not elected, they are
appointed by the PM (usually
support his/her party)
Only a few seats come at
once so there will be
members from other parties
Can remain until they are 75
Senate Cont’d
•
Are there to represent the minorities in
Canada
•
Are appointed by region
•
Proceedings are in French and English
•
Can propose laws, but usually just
consider bills from of HofC
•
•
•
CAN’T create laws that spend taxes
Bills cannot become laws until it is
passed by them
They can reject bills (rarely do…)
Why might the role of the Senate to represent minorities be
important to governance in Canada?
Compare them!
House of
Commons
http://parlvu.parl.gc.ca/ParlVu/Conten
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d=6473
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