Because Canada is a constitutional monarchy, the Head of State is a hereditary king or queen who must rule under the principles of Canadian law. The Sovereign is an important part of Parliament; while she has no political role she represents the state, a focus for the people’s allegiance. The current Queen symbolises Canadian sovereignty, acts as a guard for our freedoms, and reflects our history. The Monarch’s example of selfless devotion to service is a good example for all citizens. In her position as Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen links Canada with 53 other countries who work together for social, economic, and cultural advancement. Other countries which have such constitutional monarchies are Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Thailand, Japan, Morocco and Jordan.
As the Queen cannot always be in Canada, she is represented by the Governor General, generally for a five-year term; the Queen appoints the Governor General after seeking advice from the Prime Minister. The Monarchy is further represented in all ten provinces by Lieutenants Governor; these also generally serve for five years and are appointed by the Governor General on the Prime Minister’s advice.
The Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary generally work together to preserve Canadian rights and freedoms, although their right and ability to conflict with each other is highly important.
In each province and territory, there is an elected legislature for passing laws concerning the province or territory. Members of these are referred to by a variety of terms depending which province or territory they belong to.
In all provinces, the leader of the legislature is called the Premier, who has a similar function to the federal government Prime Minister, with the Lieutenant Governor having a similar function to the Governor General. For the three territories, federal government is represented by the Commissioner, whose role is mainly ceremonial.