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Happiness Tuesdays

Politics & Governance

The Difference Between US and Canadian Government Systems

While Canada and the US share a border and many of the same stores, media, and cultural similarities, their government systems are very different - something not everyone realizes. 


Canada functions with a constitutional monarchy, with the Queen as the head of state. The Prime Minister is the leader of the party who has the most members elected into parliament seats after each election, which take place every few years. The US president is the head of state who is elected every four years. 


In the States, there are two levels of congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. In order to pass a law, the motion must be voted on by both. In Canada, we have the Senate and the House of Commons, but only the House of Commons officials are elected - the senate is appointed by the Prime Minister. 


While these differences may seem small, they really do make a big difference in the way that our countries operate. It’s important to learn, research and get to know how our countries operate. 

Interesting Fact #1

Canada has a multi-party system, so sometimes a party wins a plurality of seats but not an outright majority government (As in the most recent 2019 election).


Interesting Fact #2

There are 4 major parties in Canada - the Liberal party, led by current PM Justin Trudeau, the Conservative party, led by Andrew Scheer, the NDP, led by Jagmeet Singh, and the Bloc Québécois led by Yves-François Blanchet.


Interesting Fact #3

Only two of the founding father signed their names to the first copy of the declaration of independence. They could have been jailed or killed for doing so. The others waited around six weeks.


Quote of the day

I believe in judging people and governments by results, not myths.

- Brian Mulroney

Article of the day - A Comparison of Canadian and American Political Systems

Do you know the differences between the American congress and the Canadian parliament? Despite what you might think, Canada and America’s political systems are very different from one another. They both share a history over the fact that the two countries used to be under British rule but apart from that, it’s very different. The Americans have a president to govern them with a congress to pass laws, whereas the Canadian political system is governed with a parliament like the UK and have a prime minister.

Governments and State Heads

Canada has a constitutional monarchy government, with the Queen (or the British reigning monarch) being their head of state. Canadians also have a prime minister in which governs the country and they have elections every few years to see who is to be the head of government in Canada. However, the Americans are technically democrats. The US is classed as a democracy also known as a republic. The Americans have a president which is elected as head of state usually for a four year term. There are subtle differences between the Canadian head of state and the American head of state. It might seem very minor but they can make a huge impact on how North America is run.

How Laws Are Passed

The political systems for Canada and the US are similar although they run in very different manners. Congress in America has two different levels, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Laws or bills, in which the head of state (the President) want pass, usually have to go through congress so that the members of these houses vote to pass them. In parliament, there are also two levels of government, the Senate and House of Commons. The politicians of the House of Commons are the ones which are elected publicly. Senate members in Canada will be selected by the Prime Minister.

How the State Heads Are Elected

As heads of government, the President and Prime Minister must be elected into office, unless the former leader of the reigning government in Canada resigns. In most cases, there are national elections every four years to see which politician becomes new head of state. There isn’t any term limits in terms of being a member of the House of Commons but in the US, presidents are not able to serve more than two terms. Democrats in the US, are not the only party, there are also liberals.

Understanding Politics

While America and Canada are border countries, they are quite different from one another in terms of how they operate, trade as well as everything else. There may be similarities between one another but that doesn’t make them the same in any way. It is sometimes difficult to grasp the fact that these are two very different powers and that Canada and America are truly world powers. These are some of the most influential countries in the world today. Congress in the US might seem to be the only power but the Canadian parliament is too very powerful.

Question of the day - What do you think is the biggest difference between Canada and the US?

Politics & Governance

What do you think is the biggest difference between Canada and the US?