Canadian government, as effective as it currently is, has major factors in their system that have a negative effect on Canadians. Our current voting system favors the higher-populated provinces and creates a tyranny of the majority. Our Senate is distinctly undemocratic as it is an assigned position. Our head of State, the Prime Minister, holds too much power. Unless we resolve these issues, our government will remain far from a perfect governing system.
I used two different views of federalism and illustrated how both of them put boundaries on the Prime Minister’s power. Next I explain the powers of the governor general, and explained the ability to dissolve parliament in greater detail. Last I analyzed how the charter of rights of freedoms has limited the Prime Minister’s power with respect to policy-making, interests groups and the courts. The Prime Minister does not have absolute power in Canadian society, there are many infringements on the power that they have to respect.
The reaction to a majority vote in Quebec and their subsequent succession. Quebec has struggled with a need to be maitres chez nous “masters of their own house” (Young, 1998). Many attempts at resolving Quebec's issues has resulted in tensions from both sides. Because Quebec has a strong national identity, and do not define themselves as strictly Canadian, Quebec is seen as difficult, unyielding and discontented. Quebec's separation perhaps is inedible and the future of Canada questionable.
Too most the British Monarchy in Canada’s government is merely regarded as ceremonial, symbolic and not something that actually holds power. Firstly, the British Monarchy’s power’s consists of just watching over traditions and seeing if there is an abuse in power. There powers do not affect the Canadian citizen’s life in any way. Secondly, in Canada the Monarchy’s biggest symbol is the royal family but most people consider more than 6 other Canadian symbols more important than the royal family. This sh... ... middle of paper ... ...f them, Canadians want to push forward and see change and new things and not to hold onto the colonial past.
4.3. Ethnic Cleavages Scholars largely debate cultural diversity as a cause of decentralization. “The provincial governments are strong in Canada because Canadians have distinctive needs and interests that cannot be accommodated within a single national government, and also because of Canadians actually want strong provincial governments and a relatively weak federal one” (Stevenson, “Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations” 90). This argument was strategically counter argued by sociologist John Porter in The Vertical Mosaic. “Even if it were true, it would not necessarily explain the power exercised by provincial governments” (Stevenson, “Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations, 91).
It is a goal most difficult to accomplish due to the discrepancies between cultures, religions, personal beliefs and many other factors that may exist in that area. Canada is an example of a nation with the question of a country wide unification among all its citizens on the table since the time of confederation in 1867 and even a few years prior. What some these factors that make Canada different from areas around it? How can a country that dominates such large land mass and that bares such vast cultural differences, be united? Can Canadians ever come to agreement upon the values they hold to be important?
A new paradigm is needed or the people will continue to believe that getting involved with the government is a waste of time resulting in the abuse of parliamentary conventions and procedures at a federal level. The electoral system is flawed and a reform towards the way members of parliament are elected into power is needed in order to save the democratic decline. It is crucial to realize that the Canadian voting system revolves around first-past-the-post (election won by part with most votes) and not proportional representation (number of seats won are proportional to the number of votes... ... middle of paper ... ...ay. The conventions are simply being misused in order to satisfy the opinions of the powerful. Moreover, the wealthy elites and established corporations have been able to manipulate the meaning of democracy with money by influencing decisions at a federal level.
Democracy is defined as government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system (Democracy, n.d.). Canadians generally pride themselves in being able to call this democratic nation home, however is our electoral system reflective of this belief? Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy that has been adopted from the British system. Few amendments have been made since its creation, which has left our modern nation with an archaic system that fails to represent the opinions of citizens. Canada’s current “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) system continues to elect “false majorities” which are not representative of the actual percentage of votes cast.
It has become widely accepted that Canada uses a first past the post electoral system. However, this system may not be in the best interest of Canada any more. There are many reasons why Canada should change its electoral system to a mixed member proportional one, a variant of proportional representation. With a first past the post system, the elected officials will always be of the majority and this excludes minorities from fair representation. Adopting MMP can create stronger voter turnouts, more personal campaigning, better individual representation, and better party selection.
It is quite unambiguous then, that the Canadian Prime Minister’s spearheading of the government at the federal level makes them too powerful. In fact, O’Malley’s study found that out of twenty-two parliamentary democracies surveyed across the globe, Canada’s Prime Minister had the most prime ministerial power (2007). Moreover, while the Canadian constitution comprises of binding conventions that constrain the exercise of legislative power by the government, the courts do not ordain these conventions (Leishman, 2005). To elaborate further, in order to mitigate the power held by the Canadian Prime Minister, party discipline should be abated in order to allow for Members of Parliament to efficaciously represent their constituents, and the three branches of government should be separated exclusively to prevent the engulfment of the Prime Minister’s influence upon every aspect of the government. While the electorate vote for Members of Parliament that should hypothetically representing their constituents, MP’s are instead adhering to the objectives set out by the Prime Minister’s Office.