Governmental Federalism In Canada

1859 Words 8 Pages
Federalism is a system of government which divides sovereignty between a central government and several constituent parts. This division is established constitutionally and lays out which powers of government are the sole jurisdiction of the national or provincial/state governments. However, this is merely the purest form of federalism, and one that does not necessarily exist. In Canada, powers are divided between the central and provincial governments in the constitution, and all those that are not explicitly divided, are under the domain of the central government, however, this has not prevented conflict over who should have jurisdiction over many areas. The tension between the Central governments and the Quebec government has often, in the …show more content…
Each level has powers, derived from the constitution that are its sole jurisdiction. This type of political system favours states where there are pre-existing, or distinct, societies contained within one territorial unit. As these distinct societies are doubtless to have different desires and ambitions. Federalism allows for each of the constituents to take divergent courses appropriate to their local conditions. There is also an aspect of the sharing of rule inherent in federalism, that shows the commonality of those who live within different constituents (Caron et al. 2009, …show more content…
This conflicts with the idea that the best conditions for democracy rely on public discourse of ideas and policies, held at the local level. Without its own institutions, Quebec is unlikely to maintain these conditions. Symmetrical federal policies are also unlikely to affect individual constituents in the same way. Returning to the idea of equality, liberalism should try to achieve not just equality of institutional representation, but instead equality of outcome (Gagnon 2001).
There are some examples of asymmetry in Canadian federalism. Firstly, as mentioned above, there is a constitutional requirement that three Supreme Court judges come from Quebec. While the other nine provinces receive representation, the breakdown is conventional not constitutional. Quebec also operates its own pension plan and has a great deal of authority over immigration and employment within its territory, while these matters are handled by the federal government in the nine other provinces. However, this asymmetry has not been

Related Documents