Canadian Parliamentary Democracy

This collection presents an overview of Canada's parliamentary system. Students will gain insight into the role of Members of Parliament and the basic structure and functions of the House of Commons and Senate.

We also examine some of the more recent hot-button issues in Canadian parliamentary life, including calls to address what some perceive as a “democratic deficit”, whether by means of Senate reform, coalition governments, or changes to Canada’s electoral system, such as introducing proportional representation.

  • 2016
  • 9-12
  • 13 Titles
Choosing a Cabinet
  • 2015
  • 00:05:54
  • 13-14

CBC News Now
Choosing a Cabinet

Political expert Eddie Goldenberg discusses what goes into putting together a cabinet and getting a government up and running.
  • Added on: 01/11/2016
Democracy Hacks: Coalition Governments
  • 2014
  • 00:11:42
  • 13-14

The 180
Democracy Hacks: Coalition Governments

A new poll suggests that more Canadians might be willing to consider a coalition government than the last time the prospect was raised, in 2008. The 180 with Jim Brown hears more about the history of coalitions in Canada, and entertains a "democracy hack" suggestion from political scientist Lori Turnbull on making coalitions that are highly functional.
  • Added on: 10/06/2015
Democracy Hacks: Proportional Representation
  • 2015
  • 00:14:03
  • 13-14

The 180
Democracy Hacks: Proportional Representation

If you ask Canadians how to improve our democracy, as The 180 with Jim Brown did, by far the most frequent suggestion is to get rid of the First-Past-the-Post voting system. Many suggest moving to a system of proportional representation. Currently in federal politics, a party can form a majority government with far fewer than a majority of the votes. Kelly Carmichael, ...
  • Added on: 10/06/2015
Digital Democracy: E-petitions
  • 2015
  • 00:06:45
  • 13-14

Power & Politics
Digital Democracy: E-petitions

The federal government has taken a small step towards decreasing the "democratic deficit". Canadians can now sign and submit e-petitions through Parliament's website. Rosie Barton discusses the initiative with its champion, Kennedy Stewart, BC NDP MP, who believes the change will increase citizen participation in government. He discusses the planning and deliberation by parliamentary committee that helped this measure pass.
  • Added on: 01/11/2016
Election Polls: Taking the Pulse
  • 1993
  • 00:11:15
  • 13-14

News in Review - October 1993
Election Polls: Taking the Pulse

How have election polls become an integral part of the Canadian electoral process? This story examines their impact.
Electoral Reform Explained
  • 2015
  • 00:08:59
  • 13-14

Power & Politics
Electoral Reform Explained

Having promised that the 2015 federal election will be the last under the first-past-the-post system, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals face the daunting task of determining the best option for electoral reform. Dave Meslin from Unlocked Democracy gives a visual demonstration of several alternatives, including the run-off election (or ranked ballot), single transferable vote (STV) and mixed-member proportional representation (MMP).
  • Added on: 01/07/2016
Majority vs. Minority Government
  • 2015
  • 00:02:41
  • 9-12

The National
Majority vs. Minority Government

CBC News' Susan Ormiston fact checks what the party leaders are saying about majority vs. minority governments. From the King-Byng affair to Trudeau the Elder's controversial missteps, take this quick tour through how it works in the Westminster system.
  • Added on: 01/08/2016
MPTV: An Introduction to the House of Commons
  • 2005
  • 00:09:31
  • 9-12

CBC | Radio-Canada (Eng)
MPTV: An Introduction to the House of Commons

Filmed on location in Ottawa, this video offers an overview of the grandeur, importance and relevance of Canada's Parliament, with a specific focus on the House of Commons. Students will gain insight into the role of Members of Parliament and the basic structure and functions of the House of Commons. Designed to hold the attention of students in Grades 4 ...
  • Added on: 11/03/2014
Rep by Pop: Making Votes Really Count
  • 2004
  • 00:14:41
  • 13-14

News in Review - September 2004
Rep by Pop: Making Votes Really Count

The federal election results brought new calls for changes to Canada’s electoral system. The biggest change would involve bringing in a system called proportional representation. It’s a different way of making votes count, and some say a more democratic one. The CBC’s senior correspondent Brian Stewart looks at the advantages and disadvantages of proportional representation, and at the strengths and ...
Senate Expense Scandal
  • 2013
  • 00:20:47
  • 13-14

News in Review - October 2013
Senate Expense Scandal

Canada's Senate is supposed to provide a degree of oversight on decisions made in Parliament. Senators must have integrity and diligently represent the people of their home province and the country as a whole. Late in 2012, questions around expenses incurred by a few Senators began putting the whole institution in an unfavorable light.
Senate Passes Assisted Dying Bill
  • 2016
  • 00:04:33
  • 13-14

Power & Politics
Senate Passes Assisted Dying Bill New

Host Rosemary Barton speaks with Senate Liberal Leader James Cowan about whether or not the amended Bill C-14 on assisted dying meets the constitutional bar and why the Senate passed it despite the fact that its narrow scope for access was denounced.
  • Added on: 12/05/2016
The Canadian Parliamentary Video: How Canada's Government Really Works
  • 1989
  • 00:33:23
  • 9-12

CBC | Radio-Canada (Eng)
The Canadian Parliamentary Video: How Canada's Government Really Works

The program provides students with a brief history of government and introduces them to Canada's peoples, languages and provinces. Students journey to Ottawa, the nation's capital, and into the House of Commons and Senate, where a new session of Parliament is about to begin. The Speaker, the Speech from the Throne, the three major national political parties and the Prime ...
  • Added on: 10/21/2014
The Conservatives and the Coalition
  • 2009
  • 00:14:47
  • 13-14

News in Review - February 2009
The Conservatives and the Coalition

In early December 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservative government found itself fighting for its political life. Three opposition parties formed a coalition and announced they were ready to topple the Conservatives and form a new government. To avoid being defeated, the prime minister asked the governor general to shut down Parliament until late January 2009. In this News in Review story ...

Guides

House of Commons: Classroom Activities

House of Commons: Classroom Activities

House of Commons Classroom Materials: Quiz

House of Commons Classroom Materials: Quiz

House of Commons Classroom Materials: Quiz Answer Key

House of Commons Classroom Materials: Quiz Answer Key

House of Commons Classroom Materials: Word Bank

House of Commons Classroom Materials: Word Bank

House of Commons Classroom Materials: KWL Chart

House of Commons Classroom Materials: KWL Chart

House of Commons Classroom Materials: The Three Parts of Parliament

House of Commons Classroom Materials: The Three Parts of Parliament

House of Commons Classroom Materials: The Three Parts of Parliament Answer Key

House of Commons Classroom Materials: The Three Parts of Parliament Answer Key

House of Commons Classroom Materials: The House of Commons Map

House of Commons Classroom Materials: The House of Commons Map

House of Commons Classroom Materials: What Do I Remember?

House of Commons Classroom Materials: What Do I Remember?

House of Commons Classroom Materials: What Do I Remember? Answer Key

House of Commons Classroom Materials: What Do I Remember? Answer Key

Rep by Pop: Making Votes Really Count

Rep by Pop: Making Votes Really Count

NIR-13-10 - Senate Expense Scandal

NIR-13-10 - Senate Expense Scandal

The Conservatives and the Coalition

The Conservatives and the Coalition