posted on Feb, 1 2013 @ 02:40 AM
Originally posted by intrepid
There was a post in another thread by an American that asked about Canadian politics and the political system. It would have been off topic to answer
but it was asked in such a nice way I thought that maybe this thread might be of some value.
Ours is a parliamentary system similar to Britain. The head of state is the leader of the party that wins the election. Not elected separately. This
could be a majority, minority parties don't have enough votes to stop unilateral legislation. Or it could be a minority where the party with the
largest number of seats has to play ball with other party(s) to remain in power. A minority government could fall in a vote of "non-confidence". A
failed vote on an important piece of legislation, like, say, the budget. Then we are off to the polls again.
We have no Amendments. Hell, we really don't have a Constitution. It was put forth in 1982 but was never ratified by Quebec. Thus leaving it in
limbo. Does this mean we have a lessened sense of our country? No but it DOES lean heavily on our Supreme Court. Our Senate is appointed, not elected.
It doesn't really propose much legislation, it's considered a "sober second opinion." We think it should be done away with. Retirement home for
partisan politicians and media alike.
I and other Canadians would be more than willing to answer any questions that you may have. Keep it civil please.
There are several errors in your original post that I feel should be corrected if we truly wanted to give those that are interested factual
information on the Canadian system. I am in no means attempting to jump into a debate with you on the worth or value of the system in Canada or what
needs to be changed, just wanted to point out how things really are at this point in time.
Canada is a democratic constitutional monarchy. we have a parliamentary government but officially Canada is a constitutional monarchy. And, our head
of state is not the leader of the party that wins an election, rather the leader of the party whom currently forms government becomes Prime Minister
but not the head of state. Our official head of state (as much as this pains me to say) is currently Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. In her absence,
the federal viceregal representative of the Monarch serves as head of state, in other words the Governor General, appointed by the Queen on the advice
of the Prime Minister (the Prime Ministers advice to date has always been agreed to). The Governor General carries out "Her Majesty's Pleasure",
which is the constitutional duties of the Queen in her absence, and is the person in Canada who remains in direct contact with the Queen.
As far as majority vs. minority governments are concerned, a minority may fall but not necessarily result in another election. The parties that cause
the current minority government to fall (known as lost confidence) can form a coalition to temporarily run the government as a coalition.
Canada does have a constitution, in fact the Constitution is the supreme law in Canada, and contains the rules and principles of how Canada must be
governed. The constitution can in fact be amended, and we have rules and procedures in place as to how the amendments are to be enacted.
Our senate, while all senators are appointed by the Prime Minister, the current PM does in fact appoint senators that are elected by the provinces.
Most provinces however refuse to or are unwilling to supply the PM with a list of senators in waiting that have been elected by the people of the
province so the PM must appoint an unelected senator. To date only one province has provided the PM with a list of elected senators in waiting, and
the PM has in fact appointed senators from that list. The current Prime Minister is to date the only PM to have ever appointed an elected senator.
While many Canadians do in fact want to abolish the senate, many do not. The problem with abolishing the senate is the fact that we really do lose
our house of sober second thought. There would be nothing to stop a PM from bringing in measures that could be very detrimental to the country
without one. Our problem is that appointed senators become puppets of the PM rather than the previously mentioned sober second thought. If we truly
want a senate that works for the people then perhaps a triple E senate with elected senators would be the best option. (Again I don't want to
debate, just thought I'd point out that there are people that believe and think differently)