Group of all the Members of Parliament (including the Prime Minister and the Cabinet) MPs are elected for a 5 year term representing a RIDING – Canada has 308 ridings. Abbotsford’s MP is Ed Fast House of Commons = the of the Canadian Parliamentary System No law can become a law in Canada without being approved by the House of Commons. They are the LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. No can be spent from taxes without the approval of the House of Commons
The Senate The Senate is NOT an elected body (like the H of C) but has 105 men and women appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister Usually they consist of business people, journalists, lawyers, teachers – and are appointed as a ‘reward’ for service in the community. You have to be at least 30 and no older than 75. They investigate bills sent from the House of Commons. If they do not agree with the bill then the bill CANNOT become a law. It is very rare that this happens though.
The Cabinet (Executive Branch) 30 Cabinet Ministers Selected by the Prime Minister from MPs who won the election Responsible for initiating new laws and administering government policy Each Minister is responsible for 1 department of Government (i.e. Transport, Finance, Defense, Education) Usually, each there is at least 1 Minister from each province They can stay in office until the parliament’s term expires, the Prime Minister removes them or the government is defeated in the House of Commons
The Prime Minister Head of the Canadian Government Leader of the Cabinet Needs to make decisions with the backing of his/her party (otherwise they could lose their position due to a vote of non-confidence) Develops foreign trade Acts as the voice of the nation Selects MPs for the Cabinet Recommends Judges and Senators Advises the Governor General when to dissolve parliament so that another election is called (every five years or when a PM decides it is necessary)
What on Earth is a backbencher? Backbencher = they are members of a governing party who are NOT in the Cabinet. They sit behind the Cabinet Ministers in the House of Commons They keep in mind the wishes of the public and can even vote against their own leaders or resign if they disagree with a government proposal
Well Ok…But then What is a Party Whip????? Party Whip = members who are elected by parties to discipline members if they speak out against their party.
There are three branches of Government: Legistlative, Judicial and Executive. Where there are ‘law makers’ (LEGISLATIVE BRANCH) there are ‘law enforcers’ (JUDICIAL BRANCH) Judicial system is independent – so it can make judgments on laws that might be against the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Supreme Court of Canada (1875) is the FINAL court of appeal in Canada (after cases have been appealed at provincial and federal courts) Consists of 9 judges (3 must be from Quebec)