Structure of the Canadian government
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Elected members of the legislative branch of the party of the government in power who are not cabinet ministers or cabinet secretaries.
Cabinet Ministers and Secretaries
Elected members of the legislature who head ministers.
Checks and Balances
The theory that, in combination with separation of powers, supports the presidential system of government, stating that each of the three branches of government has equal power and ensuring that each branch does not allow the other branches to overstep its own powers.
A loose type of federalism where the strong local governments have sovereign powers over a weak central government.
The government system in countries (such as England and Canada) where the monarch relinquishes his or her power to Parliament to the extent that, theoretically, all power resides in Parliament, and the monarch is a figurehead.
A type of government where elections allow for making certain decisions by accepting the will of the majority.
A system where a central government allows some powers to be given to a localized government, with the ultimate power residing with the central government.
- A system that allows the electorate more control than other types of democracy and includes at least two types:
- i) the Athenian Model
- ii) the Modern Model
Where decisions are made on the basis of the one citizen, one vote mechanism, where the majority carried the day and all major decisions were put to a vote of the electorate.
Where representatives are elected, but mechanisms are in place to allow at least some control of the representatives to make them "listen" to the electorate.
A system of government where the relations between elected and appointed officials of the two levels of government in federal-provincial interactions and among the executives in interprovincial interactions are part of the power that is concentrated in that branch.
A system of government where sovereignty is divided between a central government and several regional or provincial governments.
A type of voting by representatives in a party system of government, where the party in power disregards party discipline and allows the members of the party to vote according to their conscience.
Initiative (or Proposition)
A mechanism of the modern model of direct democracy, where the voters can require that an issue be put on a ballot for a vote by the electorate that will bind the government.
A Latin phrase that means "inside the power of the level of government to pass a law."
Leader of the Opposition
The leader of the party with, usually, the second most seats after the legislature.
Members in Opposition to the Government
Members of parties other than the one in power, independent members, or members of the ruling party who have been thrown out of the party caucus.
Multi-Member Proportional Representation
A mechanism to ensure that all parties who receive a minimum number of votes receive a number of seats based on the proportion of that party's vote to all votes cast.
Originally and still in use in England as well as in Canada and in other countries, where a legislative branch is elected to make laws and where part of the legislative branch is also part of the executive branch.
A person who talks to party members to ensure that they vote according to the party's way and may even "threaten" removal from caucus or expulsion from the party if the member wishes to rebel.
The winner in an election who receives the most votes cast, even if it is not more than 50%.
Powers (types) of Federal and Provincial Governments
- The rights given constitutionally to both levels of government in a federation can include the following:
- 1) Enumerated (Sovereign) Powers
- 2) Concurrent Powers
- 3) Overlapping Powers
- 4) Paramount Powers
Enumerated (sovereign) Powers
With each level given specific and separate powers, allowing each level to legislate exclusively in certain areas.
With both levels being able to legislate in the same area but not on the exact same point.
With both levels having the same rights to legislate in the same area, with conflicts possible as a result.
With one level having the final and ultimate right to legislate, and the other level having only a subordinate or no right at all to legislate.
The leader of a Canadian provincial party in power as the government.
A system, originally and still American, but in use in many other countries, where the legislative branch is separate from the executive branch and where the executive branch is headed by a person who is elected in a country-wide election.
The leader of a Canadian federal party in power as the government.
A system designed to provide representatives in multi-member constituencies of a number of minorities by calculating the votes for each party and comparing them to the votes cast in an election.
A mechanism of the modern model of direct democracy where the voters can require that an elected representative lose her or his seat if a minimum number of voters sign a recall petition.
A method of getting an issue before the court without requiring an actual fact situation affecting real persons before the issue can be decided.
Referendum (and/or Plebiscite)
A mechanism of the modern model of direct democracy where the government can require that an issue be put on a ballot for a vote by the electorate, which will bind the government.
A system where the citizens of a state elect Canadians who will run the government by laws.
A political concept that indicates the executive (comprised of the elected MP's of one party, who make up the Cabinet) is responsible to all of the elected members of Parliament as a whole.
Separation of Powers
The theory that, in combination with checks and balances, supports the presidential system of government, stating that each of the three branches of government has separate powers.
Single-Member Majoritarian System
The situation where the candidate in an election who gets the majority of the votes wins the seat.
Single-Member Plurality System
The situation where the candidate who gets the plurality of the votes in an election wins the seat.
A common type of governance used in the world today, where leaders impose their objectives or goals upon their people to an unlimited degree.
A Latin phrase that means "outside the power of the level of government to pass a law".
A political system wherein a single sovereign government controls all regions of the country.
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