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You Are Here: Locations > Canada > Government

Canada

GOVERNMENT
Country Name:
  conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Canada
Government Type:
  federation with parliamentary democracy
Capital:
  Ottawa
Administrative Divisions:
  10 provinces and 3 territories*; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Nunavut*, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon Territory*
Independence:
  1 July 1867 (from UK)
National Holiday:
  Canada Day, 1 July (1867)
Constitution:
  17 April 1982 (Constitution Act); originally, the machinery of the government was set up in the British North America Act of 1867; charter of rights and unwritten customs
Legal System :
  based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Suffrage:
  18 years of age; universal
Executive Branch:
  chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Romeo Le BLANC (since 8 February 1995)
head of government: Prime Minister Jean CHRETIEN (since 4 November 1993)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons is automatically designated by the governor general to become prime minister
Legislative Branch:
  bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (a body whose members are appointed to serve until reaching 75 years of age by the governor general and selected on the advice of the prime minister; its normal limit is 104 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (301 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of CommonsŚlast held 2 June 1997 (next to be held by NA June 2002)
election results: percent of vote by partyŚLiberal Party 38%, Reform Party 19%, Tories 19%, Bloc Quebecois 11%, New Democratic Party 11%, other 2%; seats by partyŚLiberal Party 155, Reform Party 60, Bloc Quebecois 44, New Democratic Party 21, Progressive Conservative Party 20, independents 1
Judicial Branch:
  Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general
Political Parties and Leaders:
  Liberal Party [Jean CHRETIEN]; Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Reform Party [Preston MANNING]; New Democratic Party [Alexa MCDONOUGH]; Progressive Conservative Party [Joe CLARK]
International Organization Participation:
  ACCT, AfDB, APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE (observer), CP, EAPC, EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G- 7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURCA, MIPONUH, MTCR, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC
Flag Description:
  three vertical bands of red (hoist side), white (double width, square), and red with a red maple leaf centered in the white band


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