Government & Institutions

Central to understanding Canadian politics is awareness of the nation’s basic governmental institutions. Find articles on the organization and operation of key institutions and structures of government, as well as important issues facing them.

Local Government in Canada: Organization & Basic Institutions

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Nov 29, 2007

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p>Local government plays a significant role in the everyday lives of Canadians. This feature provides an introduction to the organization and institutions of local government. In particular, it offers a general discussion of what local governments are and their relationship to other levels of government in Canada.

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Parliamentary Government in Canada: Basic Organization and Practices

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Oct 13, 2007

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p>Canada’s parliamentary system is a central component to its government. This system frames the relationship between Canadians and their political leaders, the manner in which laws are passed, and the organization and authority of key government positions and institutions.

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Meech Lake Accord: History & Overview

Feature by Rhonda Parkinson || Sep 14, 2007

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p>The Meech Lake Accord is a set of failed constitutional amendments, proposed in the late-1980s. One of the key objectives of the Meech Lake Accord was to gain Quebec’s explicit acceptance of the Constitution Act, 1982. It was the first attempt to amend the Constitution under the new rules for constitutional change set out in the Constitution Act, 1982. The purpose of this article is to provide a general introduction to the Meech Lake Accord, including the substance of the agreement and an overview of why it failed to be ratified.

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Coalition Governments in Canada

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jul 1, 2007

Coalition governments have been rare in Canadian history; however, the ones that have existed had have important impacts on Canadian politics. This article describes the nature of coalition governments in Canada, including a basic definition of coalition governments, an overview of different types of coalitions, and a historical perspective on coalition governments in Canada.

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Official Bilingualism in Canada: History and Debates

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jul 1, 2007

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p>Language politics and the issue of official bilingualism have been a factor in Canadian politics since before Confederation. They have impacted not only the operation of federal institutions, but also the cultural and linguistic makeup of Canadian society. This article provides a historical and public policy overview of official bilingualism in Canada.

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Minority Governments in Canada

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jun 1, 2007

Minority governments, although relatively rare in Canadian parliamentary history, have played important roles in Canadian politics.

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The Prime Minister & Cabinet in Canada

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jun 1, 2007

The Prime Minister and Cabinet sit at the pinnacle of executive political power in Canada. They are responsible for leading the nation and deciding the direction of national public policy. This article provides an introduction to Prime Minister and Cabinet as institutions in the Canadian government.

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The Monarchy in Canada

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jun 1, 2007

Canada has a long monarchical tradition, beginning with the chief leadership of Aboriginal groups, the rule of French monarchs in New France, and British monarchs in Canada. This article presents Canada's monarchal traditions and institutions: it discusses the concept of monarchy, its history in Canada, its relationship with other governmental institutions, the profile of the current monarchy, as well as the debates and issues facing the monarchy in Canada.

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The Canadian Senate: Role, Powers & Operation

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jun 1, 2007

Canada’s Parliament consists of two legislative houses: the House of Commons and the Senate.

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History of the Canadian Constitution

Feature by Denise Brennan || Mar 1, 2007

The Canadian Constitution is the backbone of Canada’s political and legal systems.

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Ethics in Government: Concepts, Issues & Debates

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jan 1, 2007

In modern times, ethics in government have become not only something of great public interest, but also an important area of study in the academic fields of politics and government.

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Senate Reform in Canada

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Oct 1, 2006

Canada has a long and diverse history of Senate reform proposals, dating back to 1874, when the House of Commons heard, and rejected, a proposal to allow each province to select its own Senators.

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Parliamentary Press Gallery in Canada

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Aug 1, 2006

The Parliamentary Press Gallery serves as an important link between Canadians and the world of federal politics.

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Council of the Federation

Feature by Jay Makarenko || Jul 1, 2006

The Council of the Federation is an association of Canadian provincial and territorial premiers created in 2003 to enhance inter-provincial-territorial cooperation and provide a unified front both to deal with the federal government and to address federal issues.

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Legacy of Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien

Feature by Greg Farries || Jun 1, 2006

On December 12, 2003, Jean Chrétien officially stepped down as Prime Minister of Canada, after 10 years in the office and more than 40 years of public service.

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