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Canada’s Federal Structure

The government’s mandate is divided between the federal, provincial, and municipal governments in Canada. The country is a constitutionally monarchial system because of its acknowledgment of the King or Queen as the head of state. For instance, in the current Canadian government, Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state. The Governor-general, the House of Commons, and the senate assist her. In this government setup, each government docket excessive its own jurisdiction. The queen is responsible for appointing a Governor and other Lieutenants to represent her in each province and take action that needs the queen’s interventions (Benz, 2013).  She also functions as the head of the state within the constitutional limits.  The governors appoint the prime minister who takes charge of the parliament sessions. In addition, the Governor-general is responsible for opening the new sessions of parliament and dissolving it. In other words, the governor presumes as the commander in chief. Bills are enacted and passed by the Senate and the House of Commons. 

Apart from the different levels of power distribution, the country depends on the constitutional laws for most of its activities. Violation of human rights is a crime and is punishable as per the rules in the constitution. Elections are held independently through a system of “First past the post” to fill the seats of the House of Commons through the candidates with the majority of the votes. This electoral system portrays a democratic country that values the voice and the choices of its people (Erk, & Koning, 2010). Moreover, the constitution protects the rights of the Aboriginal people to own land and acquire properties. The law ensures that they are not discriminated against and that they are access government resources just like any other citizen of the republic.

Canada decided to operate in a decentralized government whereby the state’s power would be divided across the regions. The highly centralized system limited the government to reach out to its citizens in times of need, and this contributed to the upper and the Lower Canada disputes in 1837. The highly centralized system denied Quebec the authority to grow and maintain absolute political autonomy so that they would be included in political and economic affairs of the country (Benz, 2013). Through a decentralized government, the assurance of political participation and independence improved the involvement of the citizens in matters concerning the state, and this increased the public opinion forums that sought to improve and better the lives of the ordinary citizen. The positive impacts led to the adoption of the decentralized government in 1867.

In the 1990s, decentralization saved Canada big time by introducing privatization, cost-cutting, and financial reforms in the country. These reforms ensured that the country developed into a modern industrial state through the introduction of new techniques of prioritization and resource management. The development introduced Canada to the global market, and ever since, the country has maintained a majority of the market shares despite the stiff competition (Erk, & Koning, 2010). These ideas generated from the senate who suggested the reform for the sake of expansion and growth in the industrial sector of the county. This milestone was the main contributor to the abandonment of a highly centralized government to a decentralized one.

Reference list

Benz, A. (2013). Balancing rigidity and flexibility: Constitutional dynamics in federal systems. West European Politics, 36(4), 726-749.

Erk, J., & Koning, E. (2010). New structuralism and institutional change: Federalism between centralization and decentralization. Comparative Political Studies, 43(3), 353-378.

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