Parliamentary Democracy in Ontario
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Parliamentary Democracy in Ontario

November 27, 2019

Canada is a parliamentary democracy. We elect members to represent us in our federal
parliament and our provincial and territorial legislatures. In a parliamentary system, government is separated
into three branches. There are many layers, with all of them working
together to serve the people. Let’s take a closer look at how it works
at the provincial level in Ontario. First, there is the legislative branch, composed
of all elected representatives. In Ontario, these elected individuals are
called Members of Provincial Parliament, or MPPs for short. Each MPP represents a different geographic
area within Ontario, called an electoral district or constituency, and most are associated with
a political party. MPPs convene at the Legislative Assembly in
Toronto. Here, MPPs debate issues, pass laws and legislation,
approve finances and scrutinize government activity. Then, there is the executive branch, led by
the premier and the executive council or cabinet. The executive council has to maintain the
support of a majority of the MPPs in the Legislative Assembly in order to be able to govern the
province. In most cases, the role of the premier is
given to the leader of the party who has the most elected MPPs in the Legislature. The premier then chooses MPPs to be part of
their cabinet. Cabinet ministers are responsible for leading
Ministries; which deliver vital programs and services associated with one area of responsibility. The executive branch is responsible for developing
policies and implementing laws. Lastly, there’s the judicial branch, which
is a group of independent courts that acts separately from the other two branches. It is their responsibility to interpret and
enforce laws, to protect citizens and discipline offenders. So, what matters is the provincial government
responsible for? The provincial government makes decisions
and provides services in many ways that impact your life on a daily basis, like education,
healthcare, agriculture, energy and the environment. They also handle other matters like driving
and highways, culture and tourism. By now, you should have a better idea of how
the provincial government works. What’s important to remember is that it
all starts with you. Voting is your way to influence your government,
your province and your future.

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