Posted: September 3rd, 2013
Effects of Canadian constitution on people’s lives
Effects of Canadian constitution on people’s lives
The Canadian constitution is a guideline of the relationship between the people and the government. It is not possible to govern a nation without a set of rules. They are considered as point of reference therefore, it is important to have them. The Canadian constitution was derived by the Britons. This constitution consists of acts of both the Canada and Britain Parliaments. This includes decisions and agreements in the legislature and judiciary of federal and provincial governments. The constitution contains even unwritten statements like conventions, customs and traditions. For example, the government is supposed to be responsible. If it fails to do so, it is expected to resign. This rule is not written but it has a significant weight in the constitution. The Canadian constitution is unique because it is not a single document. Unlike the one from United State, Canada’s is made from Acts. There are ten amendments contained in the Canadian constitution. The most fundamental written laws are Constitution Act, 1867 and Act 1982 (Gall, Eliadis & Allard, 2004).
Effects to Canadian life
The 1867 Act, formerly known as British North America Act, created four provinces namely Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. These provinces are federal under the British crown. The 1982 Act formally handed over power over the constitution from Britain to Canada. This country also received bill of rights and knowledge on how to carry out amendments. The power is divided among the four provinces and the central government (Kennedy, 2000). This shows that there is even distribution of power. This system encourages the citizens to enjoy their civil rights. The constitution limits the powers of the government. Every action the government takes should be backed up by the constitution whether it is written or unwritten. The people enjoy good governance and they get a common sense of direction. Peace prevails among the people and there is stability. In case the authority abuses it powers, there are severe consequences. The constitution instills discipline in people. It forbids unfair treatment like selfishness over public poverty. Anyone who breaks the law is punished by serving a term in jail or what the law states about the given misconduct. The citizens learn how to respect each other and coexist in the same environment (Webber, 1994).
Existence of a constitution enhances economic environment. There is a conducive business environment for the people. The constitution also has its regulations on economic activities. It protects its people from outside forces that are harmful to the people. The people’s lives are uplifted because of their involvement in economic activities. For example, Canada is popular for large-scale wheat growing. Such economic activities play a major a role in enhancing the economy of the country. A good economy uplifts the living standards of the people. When people pay tax, the government is obliged to give back to the people through various services (Gall, Eliadis & Allard, 2004). For example education, good health care, security and other important requirements. These services ensure that the people are living comfortable lives. The amendment of the bill of rights gave citizen certain freedoms. They got freedom of speech, religion, expression, and media among others. These are everyday activities for every individual. This is why the people are protected from anyone intruding in them. The Government cannot dictate to the people what to believe. That is purely an individual’s choice (Webber, 1994).
The constitution gives citizens the right to vote. They are allowed to choose their own leaders. People can compare and evaluate political systems when they are in a federal system. They are allowed to move to convenient provinces where they feel comfortable with the political system. The Canadian constitution allows diversity among it people. There are different cultures and customs depending on the people. Immigrants assimilate in the choice of the existing cultures. Original citizens benefit from foreigners when they exchange beneficial ideas and cultures. It makes the country cosmopolitan. Different people in all parts of the world can visit the country and fit in the society. Borrowing ideas from other nations has played a major role in improving the lives of the people. For example, the country has advanced technologically. People are getting better services because of technological development (Tierney, 2007).
There are some negative effects of the constitution on Canadian life. The Canadian Charter of Rights contains vague language. Sometimes it is not clear to the people. For example, where it talks of discrimination, there seems to be contradiction. The law says anti-discrimination laws only protect minority groups. The charter however, suggests something different. The interpretation means that everyone is protected against discrimination. The people feel that there is void in such statements. To them, it is contradicting to give them the right of speech but forbid the form criticizing each other (Gall, Eliadis & Allard, 2004). Some people feel they cannot the constitution because they do not understand some of these interpretations. The prime minister has to choose ministers from a limited group of skilled and talented people. This is determined by the number of seats they get during an election. From those members, he is supposed to create a cabinet. This limits him from getting the best assistance he deserves in serving the people. This is not giving the best to the Canadian people because they should have the best ministers in the country. Currently, the Canadian parliament has members who have lower, education, less diverse and little experience than previous parliaments. The people may leadership is incompetent. Instead of realizing progress, they are deteriorating (Kennedy, 2000).
Constitution is a very important component in the leadership of a country. It guides people who they should live and how the government should rule its people. One major role of the constitution is to protect it people exploitation or any other harm. Generally, the Canadian Constitution is favorable for the country. It allows ease in becoming a political participant, which is a right of every viable and legal citizen. The several loopholes of this document should be looked into and amended. Times are changing and there is need for changing the constitution accordingly. It is believed that a constitution is there for the people and not vice versa (Gall, Eliadis & Allard, 2004). Therefore, Parliamentarians should decide on the crucial parts to amend. However, this must be done with care because the basic principles of that govern the country should not be altered at all. There should be more clarity to the people about the interpretation of the constitution. A constitution should be as appropriate as possible, since it determines the performance and people way of life (Webber, 1994).
Gall, G. L., Eliadis, F. P., & Allard, F. (2004). The Canadian legal system. Scarborough, Ont: Carswell.
Kennedy, W. P. M. (2000). Documents of the Canadian constitution, 1759-1915. Toronto: Oxford University Press.
Tierney, S. (2007). Multiculturalism and the Canadian Constitution. Vancouver: UBC Press.
Webber, J. H. A. (1994). Reimagining Canada: Language, culture, community, and the Canadian constitution. Kingston [Ont.: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
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