Canada is an independent federal parliamentary state.
The Queen of Great Britain, Elizabeth II, is the official head of the state, but the Governor General acts as her representative.
Canada combines the American federal form of government with the British cabinet system.
As a federation, Canada is made up of ten provinces and two territories.
Canadian central government in Ottawa represents all the peoples of Canada.
Each province has its own government and parliament.
Parliament of Canada consists of two houses, the Upper House called the Senate, and the Lower House called the House of Commons.
The Senate has 104 members.
Senators are appointed by the Governor General on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
The Senate has less power than the House of Commons.
Members of the House of Commons are elected for a term of five years.
The cabinet system of Canada unites the legislative and the executive branches.
The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are usually members of the House of Commons, which is the highest authority in the government.
The Cabinet consists of 20 or more ministers, chosen by the Prime Minister from leaders of the majority party in the House of Commons.
Today most of the Governor General’s powers have disappeared and he follows the directions of the Cabinet.
The two leading political parties in Canada are the Progressive Conservative Party and the Liberal Party.
The New Democratic Party is also rather influential.
The Constitution of the country was only adopted in 1982.