Presentation on theme: "TOPICS COVERED: THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW- MAKING PROCESS BODIES OF GOVERNMENT ROLE OF POLITICAL PARTIES, MEDIA AND LOBBY."— Presentation transcript:
TOPICS COVERED: THE NEED FOR GOVERNMENT BRANCHES OF GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW- MAKING PROCESS BODIES OF GOVERNMENT ROLE OF POLITICAL PARTIES, MEDIA AND LOBBY GROUPS Issue 1: Canada’s Federal Government
Why government? The government is the body with power to make decisions for a society. All societies have some form of government. They have some way to establish and enforce rules.
Why government? Without government, society would be in a state of anarchy (disorder, chaos). Government establishes order. Government provides services to those whom they govern. Canadians live in a democracy. In democracies citizens determine who governs, and citizens have a high degree of participation and influence in how their society is run.
Chapter One: How effectively does Canada’s federal political system govern Canada for all Canadians? Let’s begin exploring this question by reading the following: page 16 of our textbook, Issues for Canadians the comic on page 21
Canada’s Constitution (1982) The Canadian Constitution is the ‘rule book’ for how our nation is governed: The structure of our government The Charter of Rights and Freedoms Separation of powers amongst the federal and provincial/territorial governments Ways to amend the constitution From 1867-1982, the British North America Act was our ‘rule book.’ This was a British law and could only be amended through British government.
Canada’s Constitution (1982) The Constitution Act 0f 1982 released our constitution from British law, and included various amendments, notably the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Read page 22 for an additional overview of the constitution and the branches of government.
The Executive Branch Read the cartoon on page 23 of your textbook. Who is part of The Executive Branch? What does the cabinet do? Who decides which MPs (members of parliament) join the cabinet?
The Executive Branch The part of government responsible for putting laws into action. Includes the Prime Minister (PM) and the cabinet. To become the PM, you must: Be elected as leader of a political party (see bottom of pg. 24) Be elected as a member of parliament Your party must win the most seats in the House of Commons (pg. 27)
The Executive Branch The cabinet are appointed by the PM. Cabinet ministers (those part of the cabinet) are given portfolios (responsibilities) by the PM. Departments and Agencies (pg. 25) The cabinet proposes most of the ideas which become laws. The PM and the cabinet run the everyday business of the government. What factors do you think the PM takes into account when appointing members of the cabinet?
The Governor General The Governor General is the Queen’s representative in Canada. The Governor General usually serves five years. The Queen appoints the Governor General on the advice of the Prime Minister. Role of the Governor General (besides representing the British Monarchy) ensure that Canada always has a Prime Minister. For example, if no party had a clear majority after an election, or if the Prime Minister were to die in office, the Governor General would have to choose a successor.
The Governor General The Governor General acts on the advice of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. The duties of the Governor General include the following: summoning, opening and ending sessions of Parliament reading the Speech from the Throne giving Royal Assent to bills signing state documents dissolving Parliament for an election.
The Legislative Branch (Canada’s parliament) The legislative branch is the part of government that makes laws. It includes the House of Commons, the Senate and the governor general.
The House of Commons The major law-making body in Canada’s federal political system. The members of the House of Commons debate, study and vote on laws proposed for Canada. Members of Parliament (MPs) are elected by voters. MPs represent the voters of one riding, or district. MPs are usually members of a political party. The political party with the most MPs form the government, which the other parties for the opposition. Representation in the House of Commons is by population.
Who forms the government? Read page 28 of your textbook and answer the following questions: Why are ‘seats’ important in the House of Commons Explain the difference between a majority government and a minority government. Do we have a majority or a minority government today? Examine the political cartoon projected on the white board.
Role of the Opposition The opposition keeps the government ‘in check’ During question period, the opposition question the PM and cabinet regarding government decisions. Shadow cabinet They create debate, act as watchdog and speak for the different views and perspectives of Canadians.
Members of Parliament Two main responsibilities: Represent their constituents Constituent: someone who lives in a riding and is represented by an elected official from that riding Create legislation Read “How do MPs see their role” on pg 29.
How are MPs elected? A candidate must win the most votes. They DO NOT need the majority of votes (50% or more). Popular vote: the total votes cast in an election as opposed to the total seats won in an election. By looking at the information on page 30, answer the following question: What impact does the popular vote have on the results of an election?
The Senate Role: To provide “sober second thought”—careful reconsideration—to all proposed legislation. Further study and debate on laws A bill cannot become law until both the House of Commons and the Senate passes it. Members are called senators The PM appoints senators (however, Stephen Harper would like this to change) They can remain in office until age 75. PM usually appoints people who support the PM’s party
The Senate Represent the interests and rights of Canada’s regions, especially minorities. Helps ensure that minorities still have a strong voice within Canada. The Senate can propose laws, but cannot propose laws which create or spend taxes. A bill must be passed by both the Senate and the House of Commons to become law. The Senate can reject laws from the House of Commons, although the Senate rarely uses this power.
The Senate Read pages 32-33 of your textbook and answer the following questions: Why might Canadians have different views and perspectives on the role of the Senate in Canada’s political system? What evidence can you find on this page? (pg. 32) How does the structure of the Senate represent Canadians in a different way than the House of Commons? How does this structure help the Senate act in the interests of regions and minority groups?
The Judicial Branch Let’s read the cartoon on page 34 of your textbook. Judicial branch: the branch of government that interprets and applies the law by making legal judgments. The Judicial Branch includes Canada’s courts of law. The Supreme Court of Canada is the highest court in the nation. It has the final word on legal questions in the country. The Judicial branch is separate from the other branches and checks on their powers. It interprets and applies all law in Canada, including rights, so it has the important responsibility for making sure the rights of Canadians are upheld and respected.
Supreme Court Judges Members of the judicial branch come from the legal profession. Members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the PM and the Cabinet. The Supreme Court consists of 9 judges: One chief justice Eight puisine judges