mercredi 06 mars 2019

The Canadian Government
Political Parties
Election 2015
The SNC-Lavalin Crisis
Election 2019


Canada has a parliamentary system akin to that of the United Kingdom. As in the United Kingdom, the Crown is formally an integral part of Parliament, but the role of the monarch - since 1952, Queen Elizabeth II - and of her representative in Canada, the Governor General, is primarily ceremonial. The Parliament of Canada consists of a lower chamber, the House of Commons, whose members are directly elected by universal adult suffrage for a maximum term of five years, and an upper chamber, the Senate, whose members are appointed on a provincial basis and may hold office until they are 75 years of age. Both chambers must pass all legislative bills before they can become laws. Both the House of Commons and the Senate may originate legislation, but only the House of Commons may introduce bills for the expenditure of public funds or the imposition of any tax as in the United States.





Members of the House of Commons (MPs) are chosen in single-member electoral districts called ridings by plurality or first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting as in the UK -, under which the candidate obtaining the largest number of votes in each riding is elected to Parliament. House seats are allocated among the provinces in proportion to the size of their populations. Representation in the House of Commons is readjusted after each decennial (10-year) census. In December 2011, the number of seats in the House of Commons were increased from 308 to 330; these changes will be in use for the next federal elections, scheduled in 2015. Each of the three territories is assigned one seat in the House. There is some demand to change the FPTP system for a mixed member proportional representation system, which would combine elements of the first-past-the-post system with proportional representation. However, in 2005 and 2007 voters in British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, and Ontario chose to keep the FPTP system in provincial elections.




Distribution of seats in the House of Commons (2015)



Province / Territory

Total Seats



British Columbia




New Brunswick


Newfoundland and Labrador


Northwest Territories


Nova Scotia






Prince Edward Island








Total Seats





The leader of the party commanding a majority in the House of Commons heads the government as prime minister, with members of his (or her) Cabinet being likewise drawn from the majority. The prime minister is a member of the House of Commons, as are most members of the Cabinet. Governments require majority support in the House of Commons to remain in office: in the event a government loses a vote of confidence in the House of Commons, it must resign or request dissolution of Parliament. In Canada, the PM asks the Governor General to dissolve Parliament and call for a general election.

More on the office of the Prime Minister: