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Inner Workings of Canadian Government How can Canadians effect change at federal and provincial levels Chapter 9 & 10.

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Presentation on theme: "Inner Workings of Canadian Government How can Canadians effect change at federal and provincial levels Chapter 9 & 10."— Presentation transcript:

1 Inner Workings of Canadian Government How can Canadians effect change at federal and provincial levels Chapter 9 & 10

2 Today’s Objective Describe the significance of the following in the workings of government: passage of legislation (including First, Second, and Third Reading; Royal Assent; private members bills) party discipline versus free votes cabinet patronage Prime minister Stephen Harper

3 So how are laws made? A proposed new law is called a Bill Bills are usually introduced by members of the Cabinet or the prime minister ◦So, the Cabinet members and the prime minister hold both executive AND legislative power (power to make decisions and laws) The Cabinet is made of elected party members chosen by the prime minister

4 What’s a Cabinet? Selecting Cabinet members is very important to maintain government support Should represent all cultures, languages, ethnicities, genders, ages of the country (ideally) A perfect balance is rarely achieved shenme? Cabinet?

5 Cabinet solidarity Cabinet members must display full support for the prime minister This is called Cabinet Solidarity This shows the public the government is strong, confident and unified in it’s decisions If a Cabinet member disagrees with a decision, they are expected to resign A party whip ensures Cabinet members support party bills and vote

6 Anyway, back to making laws People called civil servants help government draft (design) new Bills Bills may also be introduced by members of the Senate or House of Commons ◦These are called private members bills ◦Few of these Bills ever become laws For a Bill to become a Law, it must pass several stages (Fig. 9-17, pg. 237) These stages include: first, second, third readings, and Royal Assent

7 How a Bill becomes Law Bill must pass three readings in both the Senate and House of Commons to become Law First reading is just a formality ◦Bill introduced without debate ◦Allows media, opposition to become familiar with the Bill for future readings Second reading ◦Main Idea of Bill is debated: Is the proposed Bill a good idea or not? ◦Bill may be changed or improved Third Reading ◦House either accepts or rejects the amended Bill ◦If accepted, Bill then sent to Senate where the process is repeated ◦Senate however rarely rejects a Bill, may recommend further change

8 The final step! If a Bill passes all three readings, Bill is sent to the Governor General (pg. 234) ◦Governor General represents the Queen ◦Signing of the Bill is known as giving Royal Assent ◦Royal Assent is rarely withheld, mostly symbolic ◦However, ultimate power is vested in the queen (pg. 222-223) Gov-Gen. Michaelle Jean Queen Elizabeth II

9 Government The House of Commons (known as the Lower House) is made up of elected officials called MP’s (members of parliament) ◦MP’s by tradition expected to vote in favour of the party’s position on policies, known as party discipline ◦However, sometimes the people who elected the MP’s disagree with the policy ◦In this case, the MP’s can choose to vote against the party, called a free vote

10 Patronage The Senate (known as the Upper House) is made up of appointed members by the Governor General on recommendation of the prime minister ◦Members called Senators ◦Must be Canadian citizens, 30-75 years old, live in province they represent, own property Prime ministers often fill vacant Senate seats with his own party supporters ◦Known as patronage (reward) for loyalty or support ◦**Controversial Issue

11 The Parliamentary System Legislative, Executive, Judicial Branches

12 Powers of Government Canadian Federal Government is divided into three branches with different powers ◦Executive branch  Power to make decisions ◦Legislative branch  Power to make laws ◦Judicial branch  Power to interpret and administer laws  Power rests with Judges and Court System  Separate from other two branches

13 Structure of Canadian Government

14 Legislative branch Includes: ◦Governor general ◦House of Commons ◦Senate All the above form parliament Parliament must meet each year, called a session, where they: ◦Pass new laws ◦Amend or remove others ◦Debate important issues to Canadians

15 Legislative branch During Parliament, there is “question period” where opposition party members question government actions Can be Very Emotional! (video) Questions usually answered by a cabinet minister or the prime minister, explain the governments position on the topic

16 House of Commons (Lower House) Only part of legislative branch to be elected Elections occur every 5 years, or less Canada divided into areas based on population called ridings (1 for every 100,000 people) Each riding, people vote for a representative called an MP These MP’s form the House of Commons MP’s elect a speaker of the house to control meetings

17 Political ridings of Canada

18 The Senate (Upper House) Appointed by Gov. Gen. on advice of PM Appoint own speaker, own affairs Jobs are: ◦Final check on new laws passing ◦Introduce new laws (rare) ◦Regional representation for issues ◦Investigate important issues Should senate exist? Read pg. 231-33 (optional)

19 Senate seats of Canada

20 Executive Branch Includes: ◦Governor General ◦Prime Minister ◦Cabinet (cabinet ministers and prime minister are also members of House, so they have both executive and legislative power)

21 Governor General Represents the monarch, the Queen Gives Royal Assent (formal assent) to a bill before it becomes a law Advises government to ensure it abides by the constitution Daily affairs of federal government run by the prime minister and the Cabinet

22 Prime Minister Leader of ruling party is named prime minister Has three roles: ◦1) Head of Government  Makes important decisions for the government ◦2) National Leader  Address Canadians on issues of national concern  Speaks on behalf of Canadians at international meetings ◦3) Party Leader  Spokesperson for his political party in Parliament  Gives out patronage appointments

23 The Cabinet Made up of elected party members chosen by the prime minister Each member responsible for a government department ◦Ex. Minister of Education, Minister of Health, Minister of Environment, etc. Make important decisions, create new laws for Canada

24 Today’s Objectives compare mechanisms whereby public policy can be changed (e.g., elections, petitions and protests, lobbyists, special interest groups, court actions, media campaigns)

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