Parliamentary System 1

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  • 1. Government The Parliamentary System and Politics
  • 2. The Parliamentary System In Canada, the powers of government are divided into three branches: • Legislative power • Executive power • Judicial power
  • 3. Legislative
  • 4. Parliament The legislative branch is composed of: • House of Commons • Senate • Governor General
  • 5. Parliament • Parliament meets at least once a year in what is called a session • During each session, Parliament passes new laws and amends (changes) or repeals (removes) others • Opposition parties challenge the government’s actions, and raise issues of the day they feel the government needs to address
  • 6. House of Commons • Also known as the Lower House • The only part of the legislative branch that has elected members • MPs (members of Parliament) represent areas called ridings or constituencies that are roughly equal in population • Eligible voters in each riding elect on candidate to represent them in Parliament
  • 7. House of Commons • The number of seats in the House of Commons is determined by the population of Canada • As the population increases, so do the number of seats in the Commons
  • 8. • Debate in the House of Commons are controlled by the Speaker of the House • The Speaker is an MP, and is elected by other members of Parliament • He/she oversees the impartial operation of the House
  • 9. Voting • MPs belong to political parties • Each party hold private meetings called a caucus • Party leaders explain their programs, policies, and actions, and all members have an opportunity to discuss concerns and express opinions freely
  • 10. Voting • Once a decision is made, parliamentary tradition dictates that all MPs are expected to vote with the party’s position • The party whip enforces party discipline, keeping all members in line, ensuring they support party bills • Free votes allow MPs to vote according to what they believe is best
  • 11. Senate • Upper House, independent of the House of Commons • Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the “recommendation” of the Prime Minister • Senators represent the regions of the country • The Senate may introduce legislation, but mainly serves the role of providing “sober second thought”