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Philosophy Q&A Essay

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Question: Assess the influence of classical liberal political philosophy upon the structure and function of the present day Canadian Government.

Thesis: Classical Liberalism, started by John Locke, and continued by philosophers such as Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Montesquieu, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill were passed through Britain’s Government into the Canadian Government, who has been influenced by all of the philosophers mentioned.

Argument/Analysis:

POV#1: John Locke’s preference of Monarchies influenced the Canadian Governments structure.

· Locke was satisfied with Monarchies, didn’t like absolute reign, but didn’t voice the need for a Republic.

· Canada is still a Constitutional Monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II being the Queen of Canada.

· The Crown still has the title of head of state; the Governor General is only considered a representation.

· However, the position is mainly symbolic. The Crown is unable to intervene in government. Even the appointment of the Governor General, Michaelle Jean at present, is the Prime Ministers job, the Crown only gets to official declare it.

POV#2 Locke’s view that a social contract contained the right to rebel influenced the Canadian Governments function, which has a vote of confidence to support or defeat a government.

· Locke believed in the right of rebellion and viewed it as mandatory to keep people from the cruelties of tyranny should the “natural laws” of “life, liberty, and property” not be kept under social contract rules.

· A minority government can be defeated in a vote of confidence should the motion not pass.

· Confidence votes (also referred to as no-confidence votes) are usually major ...


... middle of paper ...


...s dissatisfied than a fool satisfied”.

· Members of Parliament are elected into the House of Commons where the government, out of necessity, needs to keep the people happy, or face not being re-elected.

· Parties choose leaders and strategies according to polls that assess what the people want.

· Should people express outrage at a decision made in the government it is not unheard of to have the member responsible resign or be ostracized by the citizens (as Mill thought, one can only stop the harm of others not self harm).

POV#6: The Governments structure separates Executive from Legislative, though not Legislative from Executive, but completely separates Judicial, the only ones to carry out sentences.

· Legislative groups may only change rules, not enforce, as according to the Division of Powers, created by Montesquieu.


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Philosophy Q&A Essay - Question: Assess the influence of classical liberal political philosophy upon the structure and function of the present day Canadian Government. Thesis: Classical Liberalism, started by John Locke, and continued by philosophers such as Jean-Jacque Rousseau, Montesquieu, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill were passed through Britain’s Government into the Canadian Government, who has been influenced by all of the philosophers mentioned. Argument/Analysis: POV#1: John Locke’s preference of Monarchies influenced the Canadian Governments structure....   [tags: Philosophy] 865 words
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