Government of Canada

There are many differences between the government of Canada and the government of the United States.  Although many assume that the neighbors to the north are seemingly synonymous with all things U.S., a close examination of the government of Canada can demonstrate the breadth and depth of difference between these two nations.

The U.S. government is a combination of state and federal powers, with a federal constitution and fifty-two state constitutions.  The government of Canada is a federation; governing power is shared between the central government of Canada, provinces, and territories.  Provinces and territories establish certain laws and policies, and they in turn control certain local, autonomous powers.  The policies of the various provinces and territories within the larger government of Canada vary significantly depending upon local tradition and population.  In the U.S., the power attributed to individual states has diminished as of late; however, provinces like Quebec in the government of Canada still maintain staunch differences in culture, laws, and customs like the predominance of the French language in the region, unlike the majority of territories where English is spoken.

In the U.S., the President holds the most powerful individual office, and according to the constitution, the President’s powers are offset by the congress and the judicial branch of government.  In the government of Canada, the Queen of England, represented by the governor-general, is the head of state.  The prime minister, who is elected and must work alongside parliament, has a good deal of power.  The prime minister controls all aspects of the federal government in tandem with the persons they appoint to their cabinet.  In the U.S., many appointed to the President’s cabinet must pass though a series of senatorial hearings, whereas under the government of Canada, the prime minister names all cabinet ministers, who are subsequently officially appointed by the governor-general.

The government of Canada, in many ways, is still tied to England; this is the most prominent difference between the U.S. and Canada.  Whereas the U.S. fought a revolution to ensure its sovereignty, the government of Canada has evolved from out of the British government of the past hundred years or more.  Truly, these two neighboring countries are very different indeed.