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Politics of Nova Scotia

Politics of Nova Scotia
Polity typeProvince within a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
ConstitutionConstitution of Canada
Legislative branch
NameGeneral Assembly
TypeUnicameral
Meeting placeProvince House, Halifax
Presiding officerSpeaker of the House of Assembly
Executive branch
Head of State
CurrentlyKing Charles III
represented by
Arthur LeBlanc,
Lieutenant Governor
Head of Government
CurrentlyPremier
Tim Houston
AppointerLieutenant Governor
Cabinet
NameExecutive Council
LeaderPremier (as President of the Executive Council)
AppointerLieutenant Governor
HeadquartersHalifax
Judicial branch
Court of Appeal
Chief judgeMichael Wood
SeatLaw Courts, Halifax

The politics of Nova Scotia take place within the framework of a Westminster-style parliamentary constitutional monarchy. As Canada's head of state and monarch, Charles III is the sovereign of the province in his capacity as King in Right of Nova Scotia; his duties in Nova Scotia are carried out by the Lieutenant Governor, Arthur LeBlanc. The General Assembly is the legislature, consisting of the Lieutenant Governor and fifty-five members representing their electoral districts in the House of Assembly.[1] The Government is headed by the Premier, Tim Houston, who took office on August 31, 2021. The capital city is Halifax, home to the Lieutenant Governor, the House of Assembly, and the Government. The House of Assembly has met in Halifax at Province House since 1819.[2]

Monarchy

The role of the Crown is both legal and practical; it functions in Nova Scotia in the same way it does in all of Canada's other provinces, being the centre of a constitutional construct in which the institutions of government acting under the sovereign's authority share the power of the whole.[3] It is thus the foundation of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the province.[4] The Canadian monarch—since 8 September 2022, King Charles III—is represented and his duties carried out by the lieutenant governor of Nova Scotia, whose direct participation in governance is limited by the conventional stipulations of constitutional monarchy, with most related powers entrusted for exercise by the elected parliamentarians, the ministers of the Crown generally drawn from among them, and the judges and justices of the peace.[5]

Legislative power

The Nova Scotia House of Assembly (French: Assemblée législative de la Nouvelle-Écosse; Scottish Gaelic: Taigh Seanaidh Alba Nuadh), or Legislative Assembly, is the sole chamber of the unicameral General Assembly of Nova Scotia. The assembly is the oldest in Canada, having first sat in 1758;[6] in 1848, it was the site of the first responsible government in the British Empire. Bills passed by the House of Assembly are given royal assent by the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia[7] in the name of the King in Right of Nova Scotia.

When established in 1758, the General Assembly consisted of the Crown represented by the Governor (Lieutenant Governor post-confederation), the appointed Nova Scotia Council holding both executive and legislative duties and the elected House of Assembly (lower chamber). In 1838, the Council was replaced by an executive council with the executive function and a legislative council with the legislative functions based on the House of Lords. In 1928, the Legislative Council was abolished and the members pensioned off, resulting in a unicameral legislature with the House of Assembly as the sole chamber.

There are 55 members of the legislative assembly (MLAs) representing 55 electoral districts.[8] Members nearly always represent one of the three main political parties of the province: the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, the Progressive Conservative Association of Nova Scotia, and Nova Scotia New Democratic Party.

Executive power

The Government of Nova Scotia exercises the executive power. The chief body of the Government is the Executive Council, also known as Cabinet.[9] The Premier of Nova Scotia is President of the Executive Council.[9]

Electoral history

1867 to 1916

Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia (1867–1916) – seats won by party
Government Anti Confederation Liberal Con Liberal
Party 1867 1871 1874 1878 1882 1886 1890 1897 1897 1901 1906 1911 1916
    Liberal 36 24 22 6 24 28 29 25 34 36 32 26 31
    Conservative 2 14 12 32 14 10 9 13 3 2 4 12 12
    Independent 4 1 2
Total 38 38 38 38 38 37 38 37 38 38 38 38 43

1920 to 1967

Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia (1920–1967) – seats won by party
Government Liberal Con Liberal PC
Party 1920 1925 1928 1933 1937 1941 1945 1949 1953 1956 1960 1963 1967
    Liberal 29 3 18 22 25 22 28 27 22 18 15 4 6
    Conservative 3 40 24 8 5 5
    Progressive Conservative 8 13 24 27 39 40
    United Farmers 6
    Labour 5 1
    Cooperative Commonwealth Federation 3 2 2 2 1 1
Total 43 43 43 30 30 30 30 37 37 43 43 43 46

1970 to present

Elections to the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia (1970–present) – seats won by party
Government Liberal PC Liberal PC NDP Liberal PC
Party 1970 1974 1978 1981 1984 1988 1993 1998 1999 2003 2006 2009 2013 2017 2021
    Liberal 23 31 17 13 6 21 40 19 11 12 9 11 33 27 17
    Progressive Conservative 21 12 31 37 42 28 9 14 30 25 23 10 11 17 31
    New Democratic 2 3 4 1 3 2 3 19 11 15 20 31 7 7 6
    Cape Breton Labour 1 1 1
    Independent 1
Total 46 46 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 52 51 51 55

Of the registered voters in 2017, 53.4% voted. Voter turnout has decreased from 82% turnout in 1960.[10]

Federal elections from 1968 to 2021

Elections to the Parliament of Canada from Nova Scotia (1968–2021) — seats won by party
Party 1968 1972 1974 1979 1980 1984 1988 1993 1997 2000 2004 2006 2008 2011 2015 2019 2021
    Liberal 1 1 2 2 6 2 6 11 4 6 6 5 4 11 10 8
    PC 10 10 8 8 5 9 5 6 4
    NDP 1 1 6 3 2 2 2 3
    Reform / Alliance
    Conservative 3 3 3 4 1 3
Total 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 11

See also

References

  1. ^ "About the Legislature". Nova Scotia Legislature. 2016-09-06. Retrieved 2018-07-15.
  2. ^ Province of Nova Scotia (2009). "Province House, Halifax, Nova Scotia" (PDF). Nova Scotia Legislature.
  3. ^ Cox, Noel (September 2002). "Black v Chrétien: Suing a Minister of the Crown for Abuse of Power, Misfeasance in Public Office and Negligence". Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law. 9 (3). Perth: Murdoch University: 12. Retrieved 17 May 2009.
  4. ^ Privy Council Office (2008), Accountable Government: A Guide for Ministers and Ministers of State – 2008, Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada, p. 49, ISBN 978-1-100-11096-7, archived from the original on 18 March 2010, retrieved 17 May 2009
  5. ^ MacLeod, Kevin S. (2008). A Crown of Maples (PDF) (1 ed.). Ottawa: Queen's Printer for Canada. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-662-46012-1. Retrieved 21 June 2009.
  6. ^ How Canadians Govern Themselves
  7. ^ Constitution Act, 1867, ss. 69 & 88; Nova Scotia House of Assembly
  8. ^ Chapter 32 of Nova Scotia Acts of 2019
  9. ^ a b admin (2017-06-23). "Cabinet". Nova Scotia Legislature. Retrieved 2024-01-20.
  10. ^ Chief Electoral Officer (30 May 2017). "Statement of Votes and Statistics: Volume 1" (PDF). Elections Nova Scotia.
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Politics of Nova Scotia
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