The Indian constitution is the lengthiest written constitution in the world. Constitution makers borrowed some features from the laws of other countries. One of those countries is Canada, and the elements borrowed from Canada are Federation with a predominant centre, conferring residuary powers in the centre, the appointment of state governors, and the advisory jurisdiction of the supreme court.
As constitution-makers borrowed some provisions from the Canadian Constitution, we would know something about Canada in the following sections.
Like India, Canada was also subjected to European Colonization. Initially, French came and made colonies in North America. Following France, the British, too, explored Canada and established colonies. France handed over its colonies to the British following the defeat in a war. On 1 July 1867, the Dominion of Canada came into existence by uniting British colonies into a federation. In 1931, the British Parliament acknowledged Canada as coequal with the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth partners, providing almost complete autonomy by passing the Statute of Westminster. In 1982, Canada acquired sovereignty when the British Parliament passed the Canada Act, 1982, that renounced British authority.
Canada is the second-largest country after Russia in terms of land area. It stretches from the Atlantic Ocean from east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and it shares land borders with the United States in the south and Alaska (state of USA) in the northwest.
It has the longest coastline of approximately 2,43,000 km and also shares the longest international land border (8893 km) with the United States.
It has a varied and scenic physical geography such as Boreal forests, Canadian Prairies, Appalachian and Rocky mountains.
Political Geography and Polity
It has ten provinces and three territories. The difference between those two is that the latter one has less sovereignty compared to the former one.
Canada has a Parliamentary system with a constitutional monarchy, which is similar to that in the United Kingdom. Here, the British monarch is the monarch for Canada and represented by the Governor-General. The Parliament of Canada is the bicameral one consisting of the upper house called Senate and the lower house called House of Commons, located in the capital city, Ottawa.
Provincial and territorial legislatures are unicameral, unlike the federal legislature.
The Senate, the upper house, consists of 105 members appointed by the Governor-General on the advice of the Prime Minister. One should be 30 years old to get selected as a member of the Senate. The retirement age of the members is 75. However, they can resign at any time before that age, and they will lose their position if they fail to attend two successive sessions of Parliament.
The House of Commons consists of 338 seats, and the members are usually called Members of Parliament. They are elected directly by the people, and each represents an electoral district called “Riding.”
The minimum age for contesting elections to the House of Commons is 18, and they serve until the house gets dissolved, i.e., four years of each term.
Politics and Recent Elections
The two parties that have the predominance in Canada are the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada. The other parties which have considerable importance are the New Democratic Party of Canada, Green Party of Canada, and the Bloc Quebecois.
In the 2019 elections, Justin Trudeau of the Liberal party failed to get a majority and formed a minority government. Indian Origin Jagmeet Singh became the first non-white leader in the Canadian Parliament who led New Democratic Party.
Indian Diaspora in Canada
Indian diaspora constitutes around 4 % of the Canadian population. Nearly half of them are linked to the state of Punjab. The number of people acquiring permanent residency from India has been rising consistently at a rate of 50 %.
Trade between India and Canada is okay, but not up to the actual potential. Moreover, the bilateral ties between these countries are not well as the Trudeau Government consists of ministers who support the radical elements demanding a separate state of Khalistan.
And India is going ahead with an exceptional foreign policy, which may improve relations with Canada soon.
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