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Parliamentary System 2
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  • 1. Government The Parliamentary System and Politics
  • 2. 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”
  • 3. • Senate seats are allocated regionally based on population • The BNA act set that Senators may serve until age 75 • Prime Ministers often fill vacant seats with patronage appointments • Annual salary: $122,700
  • 4. Senate • The Senate tends to be less partisan and confrontational than the House of Commons, and is more likely to come to a consensus on issues • The Senate often takes on issues considered too controversial for the House of Commons • Senators have more opportunity to study proposed bills in detail, either as a whole or in committees
  • 5. Senate Composition Conservative 22 Liberal 60 Progressive Conservative 3 Independent NDP 1 Independent 4 Non-Aligned 1 Vacant 14
  • 6. Province/Territory Number of Senators Population per Senator Newfoundland and Labrador 6 84,244 Prince Edward Island 4 33,962 Nova Scotia 10 91,346 New Brunswick 10 72,999 Quebec 24 314,422 Ontario 24 506,678 Manitoba 6 191,400 Saskatchewan 6 161,359 Alberta 6 548,391 British Columbia 6 685,581 Nunavut 1 29,474 Northwest Territories 1 41,464 Yukon 1 301,075 Distribution of Senate seats
  • 7. Larry Campbell Mobina Jaffer Gerry St. Germain Liberal Liberal Conservative Vancouver British Columbia Langley-Whistler BC’s Senators
  • 8. Executive
  • 9. Executive The executive branch of the federal government is comprised of four parts: • Governor General • Prime Minister • The Cabinet • Public Service
  • 10. Governor General • Head of State • Gives formal assent to bills before they become law • Dissolves Parliament to call an election • Performs ceremonial functions
  • 11. Prime Minister • Head of government • The leader of the party with the most elected representatives in the House of Commons • Names judges and senators • Chooses members of Cabinet
  • 12. The Cabinet • Elected members of the House of Commons • PM gives each Cabinet member responsibility for a particular government department (“portfolio”), such as Minster of Finance • Junior ministers are called secretaries of state • Ministers are responsible for their department’s efficient and effective operation
  • 13. • Ideally, the Cabinet should reflect the cultural, linguistic, and social diversity of Canada • Members of Cabinet are expected to demonstrate cabinet solidarity, or else they must resign
  • 14. Public Service • Also known as the civil service or bureaucracy • Non-partisan permanent employees who perform the ongoing business of government • Civil servants are often the only direct contact most of us have with our government
  • 15. Public Service • Gather statistics • Write details for new laws • Represent Canada in other countries • Collect taxes • Monitor the flow of imported goods • Inspect food • Process passports • Deliver the mail • Answer questions about government programs
  • 16. Public Service • Senior civil servants advise ministers and help draft new laws • Deputy ministers can wield a great deal of influence over public policy • They hold hidden power though the influence and controls they exert over how the government responds to the needs and requests of citizens
  • 17. Judicial
  • 18. Judicial • Have the power to interpret and administer the law • The judiciary is separate from the other two branches of government • Judicial power is exercised by courts and judges, who act as referees of private rights and interpreters of the Constitution