#canada #institutions #government
Canada is a federal state, a parliamentary democracy, and a constitutional monarchy
It is a federal state because it is made of three layers of government with different responsibilities: the federal government handles nationwide issues like foreign policies and currency. The provincial / territorial governments handle provincial issues such as health and education. The local / municipal government handles local issues such as snow removal and recycling.
It is a constitutional monarchy because it operates under a constitution which is enforced by the Sovereign. The Sovereign is bound to the constitution (which Canada can alter without their approval since 1982), and the Canadian officials, such as the Prime Minister, take their power (such as making laws, replace the government, and appointing senators) from the Sovereign (technically, her representative: the Governor General) who needs to approve everything, traditionally a symbolic power.
It is a parliamentary democracy, because the executive and legislative power are assumed by official elected by Canadian citizens. The Sovereign does not have the power to create new laws, or to decide on policy ; the elected officials do. The cabinet ministers and the House of Commons initiate new bills, debate and refine, then vote on them. The Senate debate and refine and vote on them. Then the Sovereign approves them (give royal ascent).
The government is composed of:
- the House of Commons, composed of Members of Parliament, which are elected by Canadian citizens every four years. The leader of the party with the most seats becomes the Prime Minister and assembles a Cabinet of Ministers. If the House of Commons votes against a confidence motion (i.e. an important bill, like the budget), then the Government resigns and elections are held. This is the principle of Responsible Government.
- the Senate, composed of senators, appointed by the Governor General following the Prime Minister's recommendation until they turn 75 (among other conditions).
- the Sovereign, represented by the Governor General, who is appointed for 5 years by the Sovereign following the Prime Minister's recommendation.
- The Canadian Legal System is the legal branch of the government
- See the Canadian Aboriginals regarding band chiefs.
- Wikipedia / Governor General of Canada - Governor is representative of Sovereign, chosen by the PM appointed for 5y. Lieutenant-Governor are reps of the governor in provinces, chosen by the governor. In territories, Governor is appointing a commissioner.
- Wikipedia / Responsible Government - House of Commons can do a vote of non-confidence (vote no to major issue, e.g. budget), then government has to resign and elections are held
Federal state, parliamentary democracy, constitutional monarchy
Three parts to government: sovereign, senate (senators, appointed by Governor on reco by PM) and House of Commons (MPs, elected in federal election).
Process to create a new law: Bill → House of commons → Senate → Governor → Law
During the report phase MP can make other amendments to the bill
Elections happen on 3rd Monday of Oct. 4y after the most recent election. 338 districts (discover Canada says 308)
Fathers of confederation created 2 levels (fed /prov) Federal responsibility - foreign policy, defense
Provincial responsibility - healthcare, education, policing, natural resources
Municipal responsibility - local health, snow removal, transportation. Mayors are sometimes called "reeve". Councils make local laws.
The Crown represents: Government, including Parliament, the legislatures, the courts, police services and the Canadian Forces