Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 8 years ago

On which date did canada got democracy?

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  • 8 years ago
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    To accommodate English-speaking Loyalists in Quebec, the Constitutional Act of 1791 divided the province into French-speaking Lower Canada (later Quebec) and English-speaking Upper Canada (later Ontario), granting each its own elected legislative assembly.

    British North America Act created united Canada in 1867. Canada's Parliament was set up that year.

    In Canada, as in other democracies, the struggle for universal suffrage was not won overnight. Instead, the vote evolved in piecemeal fashion, expanding and sometimes contracting again as governments came and went and legislatures changed the rules to raise, lower or remove barriers to voting. At first, colonial authorities in England determined who was entitled to vote. Then the elected assemblies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island gained control of this function between 1784 and 1801.

    Among the barriers imposed were restrictions related to wealth (or, more precisely, the lack of it), gender, religion, race and ethnicity. These barriers varied from colony to colony (and voting practices varied from one settlement to another within a colony) and later from province to province (see chapters 1 and 2). Even qualifications to vote in federal elections varied, because under the British North America Act, the federal franchise was governed by the electoral statutes in effect in each province joining the federation.

    The struggle for universal suffrage was more than a struggle for partisan advantage or political power. As Professor Jean Hamelin points out, resistance to expanding the franchise reflected a general nineteenth-century discomfort with liberal-democratic ideals, an uneasiness with the concept of majority rule and an attitude that equated universal suffrage with social upheaval and disorder created by teeming new urban populations.

    As suffragists gradually overcame this resistance, the franchise expanded step by step until the First World War. Then it took an unprecedented leap in 1918: with the enfranchisement of women, the electorate doubled overnight. Since then, voting eligibility has expanded to include many other groups and individuals previously excluded for various reasons.

    In 1982,the right to vote was constitutionally entrenched in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, so that today the only significant remaining restrictions are age and citizenship. Section 3 of the Charter ("Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly ...") cast doubt on the constitutionality of various disqualifications then in effect, giving rise to efforts by those excluded (judges, prisoners, persons with mental disabilities) to petition the courts to have the exclusions set aside. This development gave the courts a significant role in determining who has the right to vote.

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