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Government

Government type: confederation with parliamentary democracy

National capital: Ottawa Administrative divisions: 10 provinces and 3 territories; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Northwest Territories*, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Yukon & Nunavut & Northwest Territories

Independence: 1 July 1867 (from UK)

National holiday: Canada Day, 1 July (1867)

Constitution: 17 April 1982 (Constitution Act); originally, the machinery of the government was set up in the British North America Act of 1867; charter of rights and unwritten customs

Legal system: based on English common law, except in Quebec, where civil law system based on French law prevails; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch: Chief of state: Queen ELIZABETH II of the UK (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General David Johnson (since 1 October 2010) Head of government: Prime Minister Stephen Harper (since 6 February, 2006).  Cabinet : Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament Elections: none; the queen is a hereditary monarch; governor general appointed by the queen on the advice of the prime minister; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons is automatically designated by the governor general to become prime minister

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (a body whose members are appointed to serve until reaching 75 years of age by the governor general and selected on the advice of the prime minister; its normal limit is 104 senators) and the House of Commons (307 seats; members elected by direct popular vote to serve five-year terms) Election results: percent of votes by party – Conservative Party of Canada 39.6%, New Democratic Party 30.6%, Liberal Party of Canada 18.9%, Bloc Quebecois 6 %,  other 5%;

Seats by party – Conservative Party of Canada 166, New Democratic Party 103, Liberal Party of Canada 34, Bloc Quebecois 4, Green Party 1. 

Judicial branch: Supreme Court, judges are appointed by the prime minister through the Governor General

Political parties and leaders: Conservative Party of Canada [Stephen HARPER], Liberal Party of Canada [None];  New Democratic Party [Thomas MULCAIR];Bloc Quebecois;

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, AG (observer), APEC, AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE (observer), EBRD, ECE, ECLAC, ESA (cooperating state), FAO, G- 7, G- 8, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Inmarsat, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MTCR, NACC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIKOM, UNMIBH, UNMOP, UNPREDEP, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO, ZC

Diplomatic representation in the US: Chancery: 501 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001 Telephone: [1] (202) 682-1740 FAX: [1] (202) 682-7726 Consulate(s) general : Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle Consulate(s): Cincinnati, Cleveland, Miami, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Princeton, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose

Diplomatic representation from the US: Embassy: 100 Wellington Street, K1P 5T1, Ottawa Mailing address: P. O. Box 866, Ogdensburg, NY 13669-0430 Telephone: [1] (613) 238-5335, 4470 FAX: [1] (613) 238-5720 Consulate(s) general: Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, and Vancouver

Flag description: three vertical bands of red (hoist side), white (double width, square), and red with a red maple leaf centered in the white band.

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