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What is the structure of Canada’s federal political system?

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1 What is the structure of Canada’s federal political system?
Chapter 1 Lesson 1 What is the structure of Canada’s federal political system?

2 Introduction to Political Systems
All societies have some form of governance or method for: - maintaining order and establishing _______ process for creating laws and applying them process for achieving ____________ (agreement) allows people’s needs to be met Without some form of government, a society would be in a state of anarchy (every person for themselves – chaos).

3 Canada’s Federal Government System
Canada is considered a _________________ – one that brings many different communities with one common government for common purposes and separate “provincial” governments for each of the communities. Therefore: *Federal Government (_____________) - Ottawa *Provincial Governments (________________) - capital city of each province.

4 Classifying Political Systems
One way of classifying political systems is according to those who hold power: • Democracies: Citizens hold the power to govern and play a role in decision-making. (Direct vs Representative) • Dictatorships: The role of citizens is limited to obeying decisions made by those in power (without consent of the governed).

5 Democracy vs Dictatorship
Pro Con Pro Con

6 The Political Spectrum
Dictatorships Democracies Dictatorships ---Low High Low----- Degree of participation by citizens As Canadians enjoy a high degree of participation in the political process, Canada is considered a democracy Democracy = a belief in the value and dignity of the individual and political pluralism (acceptance of a wide range of political views)

7 How is governance outlined in Canada?
Constitution – __________________ in Canada Describes how the ____________ branches of government work together to make political decisions that affect Canadians (___________). The constitution also includes the protection of rights and liberties of all people (found in The Charter of _____________________________)

8 Constitution continued…
The Canadian constitution was drafted in 1867 –called the British North American Act (_____ Act). It was renamed the _____________________ in 1982 when the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was added. Canada has a responsible government, which means that the government is responsible to the people.

9 Responsible Government
Canada has a representative democracy where Canadians elect representatives to present our ideas in parliament . These representatives belong to political parties. A political party shares a set of common beliefs. In order to secure votes, each party has a platform that states their goals and policies of the party.

10 Elections in Canada Canada is a _____________ democracy, meaning citizens participate in selecting who they want to represent them in the government by voting In order to be eligible to vote, you must be: A Canadian citizen 18 years of age or older on the election day Even Prisoners can vote.

11 The Electoral Process Any Canadian citizen over the age of 18 may run for political office. Candidates may be associated with a political party, or they may run as independents. During an election, each political party outlines their platform - a summary of what they hope to do if elected Winners are determined using the “_____ ______________________” system: the candidate with the most votes in a particular riding is declared the winner.

12 Elections and the electoral process P. 30
ELECTORAL REFORM • first past the post: Canada has a “first past the post” system in which the candidate in an electoral district with the most votes wins the seat. Ex) Election results: 37% Cons., 26% Lib., 26% NDP, 11% Green  the Conservative candidate is elected despite the fact that 63% of the people in their riding did not vote for them • proportional representation: In this system, the number of seats given to a particular party is determined by the percentage of the popular vote which that party receives. Which of the above election styles do you feel would best represent the needs and will of Canadians?

13 What happens next? The party that wins the most seats in a general election forms the government. The leader of this party becomes the ________ Minister CND Election Results The other parties form the opposition. The leader of the party with the second largest number of seats becomes the Leader of the __________________________.

14 Majority vs. Minority Governments p. 28
• ________________ government: a party winning more seats than any other parties combined; one party would have to win at least 155 out of 308 seats. • _______________ government: a party that wins the most seats, but less than the other parties combined and/or: – a party that decides to govern with a minority of seats; – average length in office of a minority government in Canada is less than a year and a half; – support from an opposition party/parties is essential to keep a minority government in office. • ________________ government: two or more parties combining to form a government, usually with enough seats to form a majority;


16 (Debate and make the law)
Head of State – Queen / Governor General Executive Branch (Propose the law) Legislative Branch (Debate and make the law) Judicial Branch (Apply the law correctly) House of Commons – 308 MPs Senate – 105 Senators PM – Head of Government Supreme Court Cabinet Ministers (portfolios) 9 supreme court judges

17 Executive Branch…Read p. 24-25
_____________ (Queen/Head of State) - represented by the Governor General (David Johnston). ____________________________ – part of both the executive and legislative branches; reads throne speech to open parliament, signs bills(royal assent), greets foreign dignitaries. Prime Minister- leader of the political party with the most elected representatives (known as MPs or Members of Parliament) and seats in the house of commons.

18 Executive Branch continued…
_____________ – Cabinet Ministers MPs chosen by the PM to be responsible for running specific government departments and agencies (known as portfolios). Your MP for this riding is ____________________ and she is a Cabinet Minister of Health. The Cabinet proposes most of the ideas that become laws, puts laws in action, and runs the day to day business of government. The Cabinet advises the PM on how to govern.

19 Legislative Branch…Read P. 26-27
The Legislative Branch includes: ______________________________ – is the major law-making body in Canada’s federal political system. Most of the power in the Legislative Branch rests with the house of commons. Members of Parliament are elected to represent one of the 308 ridings in Canada. Members of the House debate, study, and vote on laws (bills) proposed in the best interest of the people they represent.

20 Legislative Branch continued…
The ______________ – The Senate is composed of _______ Senators (105 seats) that represent the 6 regions of Canada (see p. 33). Senators are ________________ by the PM (not elected) and can serve until age 75. There is currently a bill on the table to make the Senate elected to increase its accountability. Senators represent the interests and rights of Canada’s regions and minorities. Therefore Senators are more representative of Canada's multi-cultural society.

21 Senate continued… discuss critical thinking on p. 31 and 32
The Senate is known as the “____________ Second Thought” meaning they study and debate laws passed by the House of Commons . A bill cannot become law unless passed by both the House of Commons and the Senate. The Senate has the power to reject laws but rarely does so. History of the Senate The Senate of Canada: History and Tradition Who serves in the Senate of Canada? Roles in the Senate of Canada

22 Judicial Branch…Read P.34-35
Consists of the _______________________ and Federal Judges (lower courts). It ________________ and _____________ all law in Canada (meaning it has the responsibility of making sure the rights of Canadians are respected) This Branch is completely separate from the legislative and executive branches so that members of government cannot influence decisions on the judicial branch.

23 Judicial Branch continued
Supreme Court – ______________ court in our nation and the court of last appeal. Has the power to determine whether a law passed by Parliament, is consistent with the Constitution. ________________ – Federal judges in the court of queen’s Bench. Handles the most serious criminal cases or appeals. Discuss: How does the judicial branch help to effectively govern all Canadians?

24 Judicial Branch p.35 How does the judicial branch connect to peace, order, and good government for all Canadians? -

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