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Peace tower clock, parliament building © Library of Parliament / Mone Cheng

The Canadian Political System

Canada is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy. The Canadian Parliament consists of the lower house (House of Commons) and the upper house (Senate). Whereas the House of Commons has 338 elected members, the Senate has 105 members who are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The British Sovereign is the formal head of state who is represented by the Governor General on Canadian soil. Currently, Julie Payette holds this office. The Prime Minister, who normally is the leader of the party with the largest number of seats in the House of Commons and also head of Parliament, is the head of government. At present, Justin Trudeau, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, is the Canadian Prime Minister. The Prime Minister decides on the ministers and their ministries and defines the main policy directions.

The motto of the Canadian Constitution guiding government policy is “peace, order and good government”. The Cabinet is responsible to the House of Commons and develops government policy. The Government of Canada performs its duties through the intermediary of the federal departments and agencies, boards, commissions and state-owned corporations.

Excerpt from the text of the same name which can be read in the Marshall McLuhan Salon

Visit the Marhall McLuhan Salon

… and find out more about Canada’s political and electoral systems as well as Canada's role in international politics.


Texts by, among others:

Dr. Martin Thunert, political scientist
Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main

Prof. Dr. Wilfried von Bredow
Institute of Political Science
Philipps University, Marburg