Social Studies 11
Unit 2-9 Reading Guide Key
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The Structure of Canada’s Government
Resource: Counterpoints: Exploring Canadian Issues, Chapter 9
1. What is government?
The formal system for making decisions about our nation.
2. What are traditions?
The rules and traditions that have developed to guide the actions of our government. 3. What are institutions?
The organizations we have developed to carry out our government’s work.
Foundations of Our Government
4. What is a democracy?
A type of government in which people freely choose who will represent them. 5. What is meant by the term direct democracy?
A type of democracy in which the people direct the day-to-day affairs of the government. 6. How is a representative democracy different from a direct democracy? A type of democracy in which the people select representatives to direct the day-to-day affairs of the government on their behalf. 7. What is a constitutional monarchy?
A form of government headed by a king or queen who is subject to the law. 8. Should Canada have a monarch? Explain.
9. List the three main parts of Canada’s constitution.
A description of the powers of the provincial and national legislatures as well as their parts and authority. A Charter of Rights and Freedoms that outlines the rights and basic responsibilities of all citizens. A method for changing the Constitution.
10. Complete the following chart.
Health services and hospitals
Marriage and divorce law
Provincial Court system
Provincial police and prisons
11. Why is a constitution necessary for a complex organization? Varied.
12. What shared ideas or values hold our country together?
13. What issues separate regions or provinces and pull our country apart? Opinion.
14. Our government is divided into three branches. Identify each. legislative
15. What does our splitting our government into three branches say about our views of leadership and decision making? Opinion – tries to keep each balanced by the others …
16. What is a federal system of government?
A form of government with regional governments dealing with local issues and a central or national government deals with issues of concern to all regions. 17. What are municipal governments?
The governments of towns and cities.
18. Who decides what form municipal governments will take?
The Federal Government
19. How often must the Federal Parliament meet?
Once a year.
20. What is the purpose of the question period?
It gives the opposition a chance to raise issues with the government. 21. How often must the federal parliament hold elections?
At least every 5 years.
22. What is a constituency?
An area with a population of approximately 100,000 people; it elects a representative to be a Member of Parliament. 23. How many people live in a typical constituency?
100,000 24. How many seats or members of parliament were there in 2001?
2000 – 301 with 178 from Quebec and Ontario; 282 in 1986.
25. Describe the speaker’s two main roles in parliament.
Controls debates in the House of Commons or a provincial legislature. Impartially applies the House’s rules to all members.
26. What qualities does the Speaker need in order to do a good job? Opinions – should center on fair and impartial.
27. What is the role of the opposition in Parliament?
To scrutinize the actions of the government.
28. What is the role of a party’s caucus?
It is a private meeting of a party’s MPs that allows free discussion of concerns and expressions of opinions, where a...
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