Politics of Canada

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This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
Canada

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Sovereign (Queen Elizabeth II)

Queen's Privy Council for Canada

Government of Canada

Current Parliament (40th)
Senate

House of Commons

Parliamentary constituencies
Electoral system
Last election

Supreme Court

Court system
Constitution
British North America Acts
Peace, Order and Good Government
Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Canadian federalism
Monarchy in the Canadian provinces

Executive Councils
Politics of the Canadian provinces
Municipal government in Canada

Regions
Political culture
Foreign relations
Office-holders of Canada
Civil Service
Political movements

The politics of Canada function within a framework of parliamentary democracy and a federal system of parliamentary government with strong democratic traditions. Canada has a multi-party system in which many of the country's legislative practices derive from the unwritten conventions of and precedents set by the United Kingdom's Westminster Parliament. However, Canada has evolved variations: party discipline in Canada is stronger than in the United Kingdom and more parliamentary votes are considered motions of confidence, which tends to diminish the role of non-Cabinet Members of Parliament (MPs). Such members, in the government caucus, and junior or lower-profile members of opposition caucuses, are known as backbenchers. Backbenchers can, however, exert their influence by sitting in parliamentary committees, like the Public Accounts Committee or the National Defence Committee. The two dominant political parties in Canada at present are, and have historically been, the Conservative Party of Canada and the Liberal Party of Canada, but smaller parties such as the social democratic New Democratic Party, the Quebec nationalist Bloc Québécois and the Green Party of Canada can exert their own influence over the political process.

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