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164   CANADIAN HISTORY I. OR BOYS AND GIRLS.

sovereign to dissolve the house, and does not resign until the people have elected new members. But if the majority (that is, more than half) of these new members vote against him, he and his cabinet resign. The sovereign then asks the leader of the " opposition," or opposite party, to form a government.

Power of the The prime minister cannot go on governing House of against the will of a majority in the House Commons. of Commons, because it has the power of stopping the supplies of money, and no government can be carried on without money. On the other hand, to prevent ministers continuing to rule, by means of a majority in parliament, against the will of the people, there is a rule that a general election must take place every seven years. Sometimes, however, one party has a majority in several successive elections, and so it governs the country for many years. The present Canadian system of government is founded on the British plan, and the old Canadian system was supposed to be so, but was, in practice, very different.

The   The place of the prime minister and his

Executive   cabinet was taken in Upper and Lower

Councils, Canada by an executive council, whose duty it was to see that the laws were executed or carried out. The councillors were appointed by the governors, and stayed in office even if the assemblies disapproved of all they did. Many of them also obtained seats for themselves and their friends in the legislative councils. Thus the two councils generally worked together, while in each of the Maritime Provinces there was only one body, which did duty both as a legislative and an executive council. In consequence, the assemblies and legislative councils were always quarrelling. The latter voted against the bills passed by the assemblies, and they in return tried to stop the


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