Presentation on theme: "Lesson 2: Rights and Responsibilities in a Democracy."— Presentation transcript:
Lesson 2: Rights and Responsibilities in a Democracy
Canada’s Democracy Canada is a parliamentary democracy, which is a type of representative democracy. Representation is based on specific geographical areas known as constituencies or electoral districts. Representatives are selected through elections. All citizens have guaranteed rights and freedoms
What is a ‘right’? A right is freedom or an abstract idea of something that is due to a person or governmental body by law or tradition or nature. Rights are not as much granted or endowed as they are fought for and claimed. Examples: the right to associate or befriend anyone you chose, freedom of expression
Rights and Freedoms in Canada The Canadian Bill of Rights was the first expression of human rights in Canada and was enacted on August 10, 1960 Today, citizens’ rights and freedoms are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter is a part of the Constitution Act, signed by Queen Elizabeth in 1982.
Seven Sections of the Charter The Canadian Charter contains seven sections that define our rights as Canadians: fundamental rights democratic rights mobility rights legal rights equality rights official languages of Canada minority language education rights
Fundamental Freedoms freedom of conscience freedom of religion freedom of thought freedom of belief freedom of expression freedom of the press
Democratic Rights Democratic rights include the right for every Canadian citizen, 18 years and older, to vote in an election and to be a candidate in an election It also includes the requirement that governments hold elections at least every five years.
Universal Suffrage The right to vote has not always been universal. It has been fought for by various groups throughout our history. At the beginning only men who owned property could vote. Women and various religious and ethnic groups were not allowed to participate in elections. After much campaigning and debate, women received the right to vote provincially in 1917 and federally in 1918. The last of the restrictions for various ethnic groups were finally lifted by 1960.
What is a ‘responsibility’? A responsibility is a social force that binds you to your obligations and courses of action demanded by that force. A responsibility is a duty or obligation. Example: your right to an education comes with the responsibility to show up to school on time and be prepared.
Responsibilities in a Democracy It is the responsibility of all Canadians to respect and abide by the rules set out by the Constitution in order to reap the benefit of their protected rights. The right to vote comes with the responsibility to vote and to make an informed decision.
Final Thoughts Voter turnout in Canada has been declining at levels of elections. Voter turnout in the last provincial election was only 51 per cent. Is the decline in voting disrespectful to those that had to fight for their right to vote? Is democracy working if the majority of citizens do not vote?