Portal:Canadian politics

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The Politics of Canada Portal

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The politics of Canada function within a framework of parliamentary democracy and a federal system of parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, in which the monarch is head of state. In practice, the executive powers is directed by the Cabinet, a committee of ministers of the Crown responsible to the elected House of Commons of Canada and chosen and headed by the Prime Minister of Canada.

Canada is described as a "full democracy", with a tradition of liberalism, and a moderate, centrist political ideology. Far-right and far-left politics have never been a prominent force in Canadian society. Peace, order, and good government are stated goals of the Canadian government. An emphasis on social justice has been a distinguishing element of Canada's political culture. Canada has placed emphasis on equality and inclusiveness for all its people.

The country has a multi-party system in which many of its legislative practices derive from the unwritten conventions of and precedents set by the Westminster parliament of the United Kingdom. The two dominant political parties in Canada have historically been the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada (or its predecessors) however, the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) has risen to prominence and even threatened to upset the two other established parties during the 2011 federal election. Smaller parties like the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada have also been able to exert their own influence over the political process.

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Canadian political culture is in some ways part of a greater North American and European political culture, which emphasizes constitutional law, freedom of religion, personal liberty, and regional autonomy; these ideas stemming in various degrees from the British common law and French civil law traditions, North American aboriginal government, and English civic traditions, among others.

Peace, order, and good government are the stated goals of the Canadian government. These words reveal much about the history of Canadian political culture. There is a strong tradition of loyalty, compromise and tolerance in Canadian political culture. In general, Canadian politics have not operated through revolutionary, swift changes. Instead, change is typically slow and worked out through compromise between interest groups, regional consultations, and the government of the day.

Canada also has a recent tradition of liberalism. Individual rights have risen to the forefront of political and legal importance for most Canadians, as demonstrated through support for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a relatively free economy, and liberal attitudes toward homosexuality, women's rights, and other egalitarian movements. However, there is also a sense of collective responsibility in Canadian political culture, as is demonstrated in general support for universal health care, gun control, foreign aid, and other social programs.


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Gilles Duceppe, the Leader of the Bloc Québécois.
The Bloc Québécois (BQ) is a federal political party in Canada devoted to both the protection of Quebec's interests on a federal level as well as the promotion of its sovereignty.[1] The BQ seeks to create the conditions necessary for the political secession of Quebec from Canada and campaigns actively only within the province during federal elections.

The Bloc Québécois is supported by a wide range of voters in Quebec, from large sections of organised labour to more conservative rural voters. Members and supporters are known as "Bloquistes" [blɔˈkist] (Bloquists). English-speaking Canadians commonly refer to the BQ as "the Bloc". The party is sometimes known as the "BQ" in the English-speaking media.

The Bloc throwout the 2000s was the third largest party in the Canadian House of Commons. It has strong informal ties to the Parti Québécois (PQ, whose members are known as "Péquistes"), the provincial party that advocates for the separation of Quebec from Canada and its independence, but the two are not linked organizationally.


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Parliament Hill home of the Canadian government

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Kathleen Mary Margaret "Kathy" Dunderdale MHA (née Warren; born February 1952) is a Canadian politician and the tenth and current Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, having served in this capacity since December 3, 2010. Dunderdale was born and raised in Burin; before entering politics she worked in the fields of community development, communications, fisheries and social work. Her first foray into politics was as a member of the Burin town council, where she served as deputy mayor. She was also a Progressive Conservative Party (PC) candidate in the 1993 general election and served as President of the PC Party.

In the 2003 general election, Dunderdale was elected as Member of the House of Assembly (MHA) for Virginia Waters. She served in the cabinets of Danny Williams—at various times holding the portfolios of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development and Natural Resources—where she developed a reputation as one of the most high-profile members of Williams' cabinets. Dunderdale became premier upon the resignation of Williams and after becoming the PC leader she led the party to victory in the October 2011 election. Dunderdale is the first female premier in the province's history and the sixth woman to serve as a premier in the history of Canada.


Canadian politics category

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The Canadian federal election of 1867, held from August 7 to September 20, was the first election for the new nation of Canada. It was held to elect members of the Canadian House of Commons of the 1st Parliament of Canada. (Voter turn-out: 73.1%)

The Conservative Party of Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald won a majority of seats and votes in Ontario and Quebec. (Its candidates ran either as "Conservatives" or "Liberal-Conservatives".) Quebec and Ontario had previously been united as The Province of Canada with Macdonald and George-Étienne Cartier's Liberal-Conservative coalition forming the government.

Officially, the Liberal Party of Canada had no leader, however while George Brown did not hold an official position in the party, he was generally considered the party's leader in the election campaign, and would have likely been Prime Minister in the unlikely event that the Liberals prevailed over Macdonald in the election. As it was, Brown ran concurrently for seats in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and the Canadian House of Commons and hoped to become Premier of Ontario. However, he failed to win a seat in either body, and the Liberals remained officially leaderless until 1873.


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  1. ^ Some political scientists hold the view that the BQ is implicitly non-sovereigntist or non-separatist, given that BQ MPs, in assuming federal seats in the Canadian House of Commons, are implicitly placing their political imprimatur on "Quebec within Canada"; other political scientists, citing the party's prerogative to utilize, tactically, federal parliamentary rules to at least delay the business of Canadian federal government or else force the Canadian federal government to accept the BQ's pursuit of separate Quebec-centric policies, adhere to the theory that the BQ can exist at the federal level and at the same time be truly sovereigntist--and even separatist. The fact that the BQ communicates publicly in the English language seems to substantiate the former theory. Some legal theorists hold that if perhaps the BQ does implicitly recognize the legal reality that the Supreme Court of Canada, in Reference re Secession of Quebec, [1998] 2 S.C.R. 217, has ruled unilateral Quebec secession unlawful under Canadian law and international law, how the BQ plans to achieve bilateral Canada-Quebec agreement to yet another referendum on a sovereignty/secession question remains, at most, unclear at this time.
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