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Do you know how your Government is supposed to work?


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#1 Naught McNoone

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Posted 09 November 2015 - 08:40 PM

I ponder how many people actually know how their Government is supposed to work?

 

I pride myself on being an informed voter, and believe that I have an above average knowledge of how my country's government is formed, and how it functions.  Sad to say, I believe that most of my fellow citizens do not. 

 

I would love to be proved wrong!

 

I invite others to jump in, and explain their how their government works.  Lets discuss and compare.  Who knows, maybe we might learn something about each other!

 

So, I will start the ball rolling, and describe the political system I live in.

 

I am Canadian.  I live in a Constitutional Monarchy.

 

The Head of State is the reigning monarch, Elizabeth II.  The Queen exercises executive power through her appointed representative, the Governor General of Canada.

 

The Governor General presides over the Canadian Senate.  The Senate body is appointed by the Crown.  The primary function of the Senate is to review legislation passed by the House of Commons, and to advise that house.  Appointees (should) meet criteria as laid out in the constitution.

 

The Canadian House of Commons holds legislative authority, as outlined in our constitution. Members are elected by the people.  The house is divided into two main groups, the Government and the Loyal Opposition.

 

The Government is composed of those members who hold a majority of seats in common with each other.  Their leader becomes the Prime Minister.  The second majority sits on the opposite (literally) side of the house and are known as the Loyal Opposition.

 

Other members, who are elected to the house, but not members of either the Government or the Loyal Opposition, sit as independents.

 

Any group of independent members that chose to join in common as 12 or more, are recognized as a party, and are granted privileges as such.

 

The job of the Government is to run the country.  To do so, the Government introduces legislation in the house.  The single most important bill being the Budget.  Anything that costs money has to be voted on.

 

The job of the Loyal Opposition is to set the agenda of debate.  They get to choose which bills get read first, and in what order.

 

Any individual sitting member, from either side of the house, can introduce a Private Members Bill.

 

The House of Commons has authority over the following:

 

National Defence, Foreign Affairs, Employment Insurance, Banking, Federal Taxes, The Post Office, Fisheries, Shipping, Railways, Telephones and Pipelines, Aboriginal lands and rights, and Criminal Law.

 

Agriculture and Immigration are shared jointly with the Provincial Governments.

 

I know that it is not perfect, but it does work.

 

How does your system work?

 

Naught.


Edited by Chris Cosgrove, 10 November 2015 - 07:48 PM.
Moved to General Chat - non-contentious


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#2 georgehenry

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 10:56 AM

I am English. Our government makes laws which have no meaning unless the EU agrees that the law is OK. Because we are thriving quite well economically, the EU can ask us to increase our contribution to supporting the countries that are being bankrupted by having to use the euro. You also, have to bear in mind that the people that have a final say over us, have not been elected by us, some of then not elected by anybody. Wonderful democracy!!!



#3 Naught McNoone

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 05:21 PM

. . . people that have . . . say over us . . . not been elected by . . . anybody. Wonderful democracy!!!

 

This is a very common and vocal complaint by many in Canada.  Most of it coming from ill-informed, but lead by a small number of misleading figures.

 

Because our Senate is appointed by the Crown, the automatic assumption is that the people have no control over who is appointed.  That is not correct.

 

Appointments are made from a list of nominees presented to the Crown by Parliament. We vote in the members who are making the nominations.  If you don't like the nominees, tell your Member of Parliament.  (Letters addressed to sitting Members of Parliament are postage free from anywhere in Canada!)

 

You have a duty to show your disapproval of your MP's performance, most notably by voting him or her out of office. 

 

That happened in the last election in my riding.  Our sitting MP missed a controversial vote (he was busy sorting his sock drawer,) and it left a bad taste in the mouth of a large number of his constituents.

 

One thing that is abused is the qualifications of Senate appointments.  Since Trudeau came the power (the father, not the current one,) we have had a long string of appointees who were given the Senate seat as a "reward" for service to the government.  And by that I mean the party in power, not the Crown.

 

The Senate is a chamber that should be occupied by professionals.  Doctors, Engineers, Economists, Industrialists, Agriculturists, Statesmen, and yes, even Lawyers!  Their job is to review and advise. 

 

Many elected MP's have no expertise outside their own experience.  So when an MP from Alberta farmland has to vote on lobster fishing off the coast of Nova Scotia, he has a ready resource of knowledgeable statesmen who can explain the pro's and con's of what is being voted on.

 

That resource must be free from influence by third parties.  Members have to know that the advice is based on facts, knowledge and experience.  Not on debt to a lobbyist or political figure.

 

Unfortunately there have been some really bad appointments made over the last 30 years, and the Senate is now paying the price in bad publicity.  The result is that they are being hampered from doing their job.

 

Tuppence.

 

Naught


Edited by Naught McNoone, 11 November 2015 - 05:24 PM.


#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:03 PM

This political theory was sent to me by a friend of mine :-

 

Once upon a time there was a king who wanted to go fishing.

He called the royal weather forecaster and inquired as to the weather forecast for the next few hours. The weatherman assured him that there was no chance of rain in the coming days.

So the king went fishing with his wife, the queen. On the way he met a farmer on his donkey. Upon seeing the king the farmer said, "Your Majesty, you should return to the palace at once because in just a short time I expect a huge amount of rain to fall in this area".

The king was polite and considerate, he replied: "I hold the palace meteorologist in high regard. He is an extensively educated and experienced professional.  And besides, I pay him very high wages. He gave me a very different forecast. I trust him and I will continue on my way."  So he continued on his way.

However, a short time later a torrential rain fell from the sky.  The King and Queen were totally soaked and their entourage chuckled upon seeing them in such a shameful condition.

Furious, the king returned to the palace and gave the order to fire the professional. Then he summoned the farmer and offered him the prestigious and high paying role of royal forecaster.

The farmer said, "Your Majesty, I do not know anything about forecasting.  I obtain my information from my donkey.
If I see my donkey's ears drooping, it means with certainty that it will rain."

So the king hired the donkey.

And thus began the practice of hiring dumb asses to work in the government and occupy its highest and most influential positions.

And the practice is unbroken to this date...

 

Chris Cosgrove


Edited by Chris Cosgrove, 13 November 2015 - 06:04 PM.


#5 Condobloke

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:10 PM

:hysterical:               :hysterical:                          :hysterical:

 

 

Soooooooooo TRUE !!!!!!!!!!!


Condobloke ...Outback Australian  fed up with Windows antics...??....LINUX IS THE ANSWER....I USE LINUX MINT 18.3  EXCLUSIVELY.

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#6 Guest_JWebb_*

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:13 PM

Our president doesn't understand how it works.  He thinks he is the one who writes laws.

 

(If you are not American it's Congress that writes laws.)



#7 PhotoAce

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 06:51 PM

Here in New Zealand, the setup is similar to Canada, except:

 

We don't have an upper house, or provincial governments. We have a unicameral legislature, elected by a Mixed Member Proportional system. The Prime Minister is the leader of the largest governing party - every government formed since the start of MMP voting has been a coalition.

 

Local issues (libraries, water supplies, sewage disposal etc) are handled by local territorial authorities. These are elected bodies.



#8 dannyboy950

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 08:18 PM

I know how it is supposed to work.  However I am having a little trouble understanding how it is working today.

I think we need another or better donkey.


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#9 PhotoAce

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 08:34 PM

I know how it is supposed to work.  However I am having a little trouble understanding how it is working today.

I think we need another or better donkey.

We could send you a Johnkey.



#10 Condobloke

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 09:29 PM

Oh well said PhotoAce, !!!!....quick minded today !


Condobloke ...Outback Australian  fed up with Windows antics...??....LINUX IS THE ANSWER....I USE LINUX MINT 18.3  EXCLUSIVELY.

“A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it."

It has been said that time heals all wounds. I don't agree. The wounds remain. Time - the mind, protecting its sanity - covers them with some scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it is never gone. Rose Kennedy

 GcnI1aH.jpg

 

 


#11 Naught McNoone

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:03 PM

. . . it's Congress that writes laws . . .

 

From what I understand of the American system bills are introduced into law by both houses.

 

James Madison worked long and hard to produce the American constitution.  He created a two house system.  The intent was that local representation would be based on population in one house and that each State would have an equal say in the other.  The two houses would balance each other.

 

Unfortunately, I don't think he ever envisioned the concept that one modern city, like L.A., New York, Chicago, &c, would have populations greater than the total population of the original 13 States!

 

The result is that Congress has grown by leaps and bounds, yet the American Senate still has it 2 seats per State, and 1 for the District of Columbia.

 

What more, they always seem to be at odds with each other, instead of working together.

 

Tuppence,

 

Naught



#12 Guest_JWebb_*

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:19 PM

 

From what I understand of the American system bills are introduced into law by both houses.

 

You seem to understand the American constitution better than our president does.  He believes that he is allowed to pass laws, called "regulations", without the consent of Congress.

 

He also believes that the Commander in Chief can murder American citizens without arrest or trial in the name of national security.



#13 PhotoAce

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:26 PM

New Zealand had an upper house (Legislative Council) until 1950. This was an appointed body, and ended up as a place to reward party hacks. It voted itself out of existence in 1950.

 

New Zealand had a federal system in the early years, but the central government abolished the provinces in 1876.



#14 Guest_JWebb_*

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:27 PM

DC doesn't get a seat in the Senate.



#15 Naught McNoone

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Posted 13 November 2015 - 10:56 PM

DC doesn't get a seat in the Senate.

 

I stand corrected.

 

Further to the comment,

 

In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, the people ought to have permanency and stability.

James Madison, 1787

 

Madison realized that a single house system ran the risk of creating a "Democratic Dictatorship."  What Madison did not foresee was the huge gap between the rich and poor that exists today.  The same huge gap is what resulted in the Russian revolution in 1917.

 

Cheers!

 

Naught






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