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Presentation on theme: "Government."— Presentation transcript:

1 Government

2 A political party: A group of people that share common (political) beliefs and organize to represent these beliefs as a “party” Ideology: The shared beliefs of a political party providing framework for decisions (left, right, centre) Simplest level: a set of beliefs by which people live their lives On a national scale: a set of beliefs by which a nation is guided or governed

3 Liberalism: The belief of equal rights and the importance of individuality Conservatism: - The belief in traditional ways and accepting minimal change to the status quo

4 Socialism: - The belief in which decisions are made by the public with the welfare of all people in mind. - While capitalism exists, public/common ownership is commonplace > social programs, crown corporations, etc.

5 Fascism: A belief system based on the value of the state over the individual (service to the state and the strength of the state is what matters most) Capitalism exists, but is directed by the state Tends to be chauvinistic, militaristic, nationalistic Rule by a dictator Best examples: Mussolini in Italy; Hitler in Germany

6 Communism: (in theory)
Aims for classless society (no upper/ lower/ bourgeoisie/proletariate) Everyone works to the best of their abilities for the benefit of everyone No private ownership Means of production are run by the government and wealth is distributed evenly among the people

7 Totalitarianism: One leader has no limits on authority Control over everything (control over the press, no freedom of speech, usually a secret police, etc.) Examples: Stalin in U.S.S.R; Hitler in Nazi Germany

8 Anarchy: A state in which no one person is governing, but each individual has total liberty - Also based on the belief that individuals will do the “right thing” and don’t need a governing body to tell citizens what is “right”

9 Democracy: system of gov't based around voting - people get a say (either direct or indirect)
Direct Democracy: every eligible citizen participates directly by voting on all decisions representative democracy: allowing elected reps to make decision on their behalf (WE HAVE THIS)

10 Left-wing: Support change in order to improve the welfare of all citizens. Gov't should play larger role in ppl's lives, especially providing social services -Law & order are important to protect rights of all citizens fairly & equally

11 Centre: tradition is important, but change must be supported if ppl want it - Gov't should play a role only when it improves lives of citizens - law and order important, etc.

12 Right -wing: - tradition is important; change should be treated with caution - Gov't should play small role; private business should ensure needs of citizens are met - emphasizes law and order to protect society and its traditions

13 The Foundations & Structure & Role of Our Government:

14 Constitutional monarchy: king or queen as head of state
BNA Act: written part of our constitution drafted in 1867

15 Constitution: -A legal document that outlines who should have the power to make various decisions. - The supreme law of the land. It outlines the structure of the gov't and gives the gov't the limitations and boundaries of their power.

16 Charter of Rights and Freedoms: A bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution that guarantees political rights to citizens and civil rights to everyone in the country: freedom of speech, assembly, mobility, etc.

17 Charter of Rights and Freedoms:
Includes:  legal rights – guarantees the right to a lawyer democratic rights – preserves the right to vote minority language rights – guarantees the right to be educated in one’s first language mobility rights – grants the right to travel and work in any province or leave the country

18 Amending Formula: - Constitutional change can be made only if seven out of ten provinces representing at least 50 percent of the population agree with the proposed change.

19 “Notwithstanding Clause”
Provinces can create laws that go against the Charter by invoking the “notwithstanding clause” It basically allows a province to pass a law which violates the Charter of Rights, by using an extraordinary invocation of the clause. Such a declaration has a term of only 5 yrs, although it can be renewed indefinitely

20 Executive branch: Enforce orders and ensure they are carried out as they are intended Legislative branch: branch of gov’t established for law-making process > -House of Commons -Crown / Monarch (Governor General) -Senate

21 Judicial branch: - Court system

22 Federal system (federalism)
A government system which has a central government with overarching authority, and also shared responsibilities with provinces, and provinces also.

23 Federal Responsibilities:
National Defense Foreign Policy Aboriginal Affairs Postal Services Banking System Marriage & Divorce Law Criminal Law Federal Prisons

24 Shared Responsibilities:
Immigration Agriculture Health Care Natural Resources Environmental Issues

25 Provincial Responsibilities:
Education Charities Health Services & Hospitals Licenses Highways Provincial Court System Provincial Police & Prisons

26 Residual Powers: - Any aspect that was not covered by the division of responsibilities reverts to the Federal Government

27 Municipal Government:
A local system of gov’t > towns, cities “Council” made up of elected councillors, and usually led by a Mayor Every 4 years (recently changed from 3 yrs)

28 How the Federal Government Operates: (read p.227 <)

29 Federal election occurrence:
At least every 4 years unless called by the Prime Minister sooner Currently there is a bill that calls for fixed election dates.

30 Riding or constituency or electoral districts:
Areas roughly equal in population, divided for specific needs

31 308 ridings across Canada

32 MP: Member of Parliament (FEDERAL reps)
Sits in House of Commons and represents an electoral district – responsible to his party and his constituents... Which gets precedence?

33 How the Federal Gov’t Operates
Parliament: The House of Commons, Senate, Gov.Gen

34 House of Commons: - Only legislative branch with elected members. Elections for seats must occur every 4 years, unless the Prime Minister calls for an earlier one.

35 Representation by population: the representation in the House of Commons is based on a province's population (more people = more seats in gov't)

36 Total number of seats in the H of C determined by:
- Pop of Canada – more seats for more pop.

37 Conservative Party of Canada:

38 Liberal Party of Canada:

39 New Democratic Party:

40 The Green Party:

41 The Bloc Quebecois:

42 Elections: Process and Results

43 Choosing a party leader:
Interested party members may be nominated to run in a leadership race Each member of a party casts votes to select the candidate they want Can sometimes be a series of votes to narrow the field These are at “Leadership Conventions”

44 Choosing party candidates:
- Usually the members of a party in a given constituency / riding, will vote on local candidates for that party to select who will represent the party in the next election.

45 Volunteers jobs during a campaign:
- Answer phones, hand out pamphlets, go door to door to seek support, put up signs and posters, etc.

46 Polling: Taking a survey of people’s opinions before an election to see trends of support, or to see what issues concern the public, or to see the public’s reaction to certain events. Often conducted by independent pollsters ie. Angus-Reid Why are the results of polls important? - So that parties can see the views of Canadians and try to deliver and gain support before the election

47 VOTING: Voter eligibility:
To vote in a federal election you must be a Canadian citizen and be 18 years of age (that excludes refugees or landed-immigrants)

48 Election day polling stations:
Polling stations are places where Canadians go to vote, to cast their ballots There are usually a few of these stations set up in a community of our size. You are assigned a polling station based on your address.

49 Registered voters: Someone who is allowed and eligible to cast their vote You have to actually register to vote and be added to a database of Canadians who are allowed to vote – then every election they send you a voter card, telling you which polling station to go to to vote.

50 Polling officers: - People who

51 Tabulation: Counting the votes after they are cast

52 “First-past-the-post” system:
- When the polls close, the votes are counted and the candidate with the most votes in each riding wins (not necessarily with the majority of votes, just more votes than any of the other parties for that riding)

53 Riding B: 380 votes cast Cons. 100 votes Lib
Riding B: 380 votes cast Cons. 100 votes Lib. 80 votes Green 60 votes NDP 40 votes = Conservative candidate wins, but more people didn’t vote Conservative, than did. Riding A: 350 votes cast Cons. 250 votes Lib. 50 votes Green 20 votes NDP 30 votes = Conservative candidate wins, with the majority of the votes cast.

54 Percent of popular vote: (% of total votes for the party)
Conservatives 30 % NDP 50% Liberals 10% Green 5% Bloc Quebecois 5% Conservatives win the election, but it is possible that over 2/3 of the population did not vote for them.


56 Prime Minister: The leader of the political party in power, chosen by that party beforehand at a convention. Represents the head of gov’t; leader of the nation Asks Govenor General to appoint new judges and senators, and call elections Represents and communicates to Canadians on issues of national concern

57 Caucus: - Private meetings amongst party members held to freely discuss concerns, programs, policies, and actions.

58 Cabinet: Made of elected party members chosen by the Prime Minister. Each is responsible for a particular government department (ie. Defence, Finance, Foreign Affairs, etc.) These roles are extremely important, receive a lot of scrutiny from the opposition

59 Back bencher: An MP who doesn’t hold a gov’t office (Minister or Deputy Minister) and isn’t a Front Bench spokesperson. Lower profile MPs

60 Speaker of the House: An elected member to control the rules fairly and firmly Often chosen from the governing party (if it is a majority gov’t)

61 Sergeant at Arms:

62 Opposition Parties: Made up of MPs from other parties, usually led by the second largest party Role of opposition parties: To scrutinize the actions of the government so all Canadians are represented

63 Shadow Cabinet A group of senior members of the opposition who “shadow” cabinet members (eg. Conservative MP is Minister of Foreign Affairs NDP MP is critic for Foreign Affairs)


65 Session: - Meetings of parliament that occur at least once a year “Parliament is in session” means the MPs are in Ottawa, sitting in the seats

66 Question Period: Members of Parliament question each other - can get tense

67 HANSARD – official verbatim report of proceedings in the House of Commons
(what was said during debate)

68 Party Whip: - A Member of Parliament appointed by the party to enforce discipline (around votes on bills in the House of Commons, speaking to the media, etc.)

69 Free vote: A vote based on what you believe is best, no matter what position your party takes Cabinet solidarity: The members must agree with and support the decisions of the cabinet

70 Majority Government: Holds over 50% of the seats and can therefore not loose a vote on a proposed bill in the House of Commons Minority Government: - Holds less than 50% of the seats and can be defeated in a vote of non-confidence

71 Vote of non-confidence:
-a non-confidence motion is a motion in the House of Commons, which, if passed, means that the government has lost the confidence of the House. The government must then either resign or ask the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call an election. Votes on the Speech from the Throne and tax and spending bills are automatically considered to be votes of non-confidence

72 Proportional representation:
The number of seats a party receives is based on the percentage of the popular vote they received. Eg. If 50% of voters across Canada voted for the Green Party, then based on proportional representation, the Green Party would get 50% of the seats in the House of Commons


74 Current Leaders of the Major Political Parties:
-Conservative: Stephen Harper (Prime Minister) -New Democratic Party (NDP): Tom Mulcair (Official Opposition) -Liberal Party: Justin Trudeau (his dad was a PM) -Green Party: Elizabeth May - Bloc Quebecois: Daniel Paille (but he stepped down Dec.16 so there will be a leadership race)

75 How a Bill Becomes Law: Any member of the House of Commons or Senate can introduce a bill Cabinet members usually introduce new bills A bill presented by another member of the H of C is called a Private Member’s Bill Next slide= steps for passing a bill

76 Introduction: member of H of C or Senate introduces a bill
First Reading: present the bill (either in the House or the Senate – wherever the member sits) – this is like a “heads up” Second Reading: Bill is read and fully debated, once it is accepted in principle, the bill is sent to a parliamentary committee for further study – committee usually made up of members from multiple parties... Committee: hears witnesses, examines bill closely, submits a report with/without amendments (changes)

77 After Committee: Report Stage: Additional amendments to the bill are moved, debated, and voted on. 3rd Reading: Last chance for the House to amend the bill. The bill is made into a final copy. Sent to the Other House: Either sent from the House to the Senate, or vice versa. The process starts again from the 1st reading Royal Assent: The Governor General gives the bill the Royal Assent in the Senate when the bill has been passed in exactly the same form by both Houses. The Bill is assigned a number (ie. Bill C-17) the becomes a law.

78 Senate: Independent from House of Commons Senators appointed by PM when a vacancy arises Provide final check to legislation Can also propose new laws, debate and pass them Launch commissions, research / inquiries Has their own speaker and affairs to run Must be Canadian citizen, at least 30 yrs old, live in the province/territory they represent, own at least $4000 of land. Must retire at 75.

79 Patronage ** When the Prime Minister picks his favourites to fill vacant Senate seats A candidate is selected who has assisted the PM in some way.... Example, Mike Duffy was appointed by Stephen Harper as a Conservative Senator > his main job was to help the Conservative party fundraise Patronage is when a Senate seat is awarded as a reward for “loyalty” or “service”

80 “Triple-E” Senate Proposed model for Senate reform, as many people feel the Senate is not a truly democratic institution Triple E > Effective (represents regional interests), Equal (all regions get equal representation – currently some provinces have more Senate seats than others ie. PEI has more than BC even though BC has much larger population), Elected – (elected Senators rather than appointed by the PM, and therefore would be less partisan (less likely to side with a party)

81 Governor General: Representative of the British monarch in Canadian government (now a Canadian is appointed to the job, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister) Needs to give approval to a bill before it becomes law (this is called “Royal Assent”) in order to check to see that gov’t abides by the Constitution performs ceremonial functions – represents Canada at many international events Current Governor General is David Johnston Past Governor Generals include Michaelle Jean and Adrienne Clarkson

82 Royal Assent: - When the Governor General signs a bill into law after it has been approved by Senate

83 “Order-in-Council”:

84 1.) MLAs: Member of the Legislative Assembly (PROVINCIAL reps)

85 Premier:

86 Lieutenant-governor:
- Parallel role to Governor General but in provinical government

87 Public Service or Civil Service:
Group of employees who perform the ongoing business of government. They are often the “face” of government, the ones we talk to to get service from the government. (at Ministry branches, for example)

88 How to influence Government:
non-governmental organizations Pressure groups Lobbyists Civil disobedience

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