How Much Do You know About the Canadian Government?



By: John Miller

5 Min Quiz

Image: Presidencia de la República Mexicana

About This Quiz

That vast majority of Canadians live within 100 miles or so of the United States-Canada border. But the invisible line that divides these populations also speaks to places with very different systems of government. On one side, a democratic republic prevails. On the other? A type of system with its roots far across the Atlantic Ocean. Cast your vote in our Canadian government quiz! Do you really know anything about the way Canadian government works?

The United States is a young country, but as it turns out, Canada is even younger. Do you know when Canada was officially formed? And do you know how the country was organized its earliest days?

Like all large countries, Canada relies on multiple layers of government to make sure that its roadways, power systems and justice system work smoothly together. Do you know how many levels of government there are in this northern country? 

At the federal level, Canada is a unique blend of Old World dynamics and New World politics. Canadians, of course, are free to cast their ballots for politicians. But their process is much different than the presidential elections in America. Do you know how these elections work?

In the land of maple leaves and hockey, the government is as diverse wild as the lands it rules. Take our Canadian government quiz now!

What is the capital city of Canada?

Ottawa is Canada’s capital. Located in southern Ontario, it is the fourth-largest city in the entire country.


When was the government of Canada formed?

For many years, Canada was simply a part of Britain’s empire. Finally, in 1867, the British North America Act established the Dominion of Canada, which gave the nation its independence.


What sort of government does Canada have?

In 1867, Canada and Britain began hammering out the framework for the new nation’s government. It is officially called a constitutional monarchy.


Who is officially Canada’s head of state?

In a nod toward Canada’s close ties to Britain, the British monarcy is the country’s head of state. That’s currently Queen Elizabeth II.


Who is the prime minister of Canada?

Justin Trudeau is the current prime minister of Canada. He is the 23rd person to serve as the country’s prime minister, and the second-youngest ever ... and definitely the hottest, yow!


True or false, is Prime Minister Justin Trudeau related to another former prime minister, Pierre Trudeau?

As in the U.S., political power often moves within families. Pierre served as top dog in the ‘80s — now his son Justin is following in his footsteps.


The Canadian government is made up of how many levels?

The Canadians essentially have a three-tiered system of government. Those levels are the national, provincial and city governments.


What is the name of the top court in Canada?

As in the U.S., the top federal court is the Supreme Court. It is the highest court in the land, and it sees dozens of cases each year.


The Governor General of Canada is a representative of which person?

The Governor General of Canada is the queen’s top representative in Canada. The queen appoints the Governor to handle many of her constitutional and ceremonial tasks in Canada.


What’s the name of the upper house of the Parliament of Canada?

The Parliament of Canada is made of of two houses. The upper house is called the Senate; the lower is called the House of Commons.


The men and women who serve in the House of Commons are called _____.

Members of Parliament are elected by the Canadian people. "MPs" serve their constituents in the House of Commons.


The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a lot like America’s ______.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a lot like America’s Bill of Rights. It helps reinforce basic civil rights of its citizens.


True or false, does Britain have any control over modern Canada?

It’s true, Britain still calls the ultimate shots in Canada’s affairs, with the Queen legally able to make big decisions.


How are Canadian Senators picked for service?

Senators aren’t elected. Instead, the prime minister appoints senators by his or her preferences.


How many major political parties are there in Canada?

The U.S. is dominated by two political parties. Canada has three: the New Democrats, Liberals and the Conservatives.


William Lyon Mackenzie King is the longest-serving prime minister in Canadian history. How long did he hold office?

King was a renowned leader during the interwar era and during the Great Depression and WWII. He served for more than 21 years, longer than any other prime minister.


The real power in Canadian government lies in which part of the system?

The House of Commons is the focal point of Canadian federal government. It’s here that the most important decisions of the land are made.


The British North America Act, 1867 is also known as _____.

The British North America Act, 1867 is also known as the Constitution Act, 1867. No matter what you call it, it established the federal dominion that is now Canada.


The Constitution Act, 1867 joined _____ provinces into one dominion.

The 1867 Constitution Act brought together Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada into one federal dominion.


True or false, do Canadians vote directly for the prime minister?

The prime minister’s name doesn’t appear on most ballots. Instead, Canadians vote for their MP. Then, the leading MP of the party that has the most seats in Parliament becomes prime minister.


Government House, in Ottawa, is also known as _____.

In Ottawa, Rideau Hall — Government House — is the official residence of the Canadian monarch and the Governor General. Its construction was started in 1838, long before Canada was a dominion.


Justin Trudeau is a member of which party?

Trudeau is a figurehead of the Liberals party in Canada. Also, he's hot. Did we mention that already?


How many MPs are elected to the House of Commons?

Canadians elected about 338 MPs to the House of Commons. These MPs carry forth the biggest concerns of their constituents in their region.


Who leads the Senate?

The prime minister is the true leader of the Senate. He or she is the one who chooses outstanding leaders to be senators.


If the House of Commons casts a vote of non-confidence regarding a minority government, what happens?

A minority government can rule Canada. But if the House of Commons casts a vote of non-confidence, the government is dissolved and a new election is held.


If the prime minister "drops the writ," what is he or she requesting?

It’s a drastic move, but the prime minister can "drop the writ" and request that Parliament be dissolved. If the Queen grants the request, new elections are held.


As a consequence of Canada’s multi-party system, what often happens?

The multi-party system means that one party may not achieve a majority in Parliament. That means the parties have to cooperate in order to pass legislation, lets it become bogged down for months or years.


Elections must be held at least every ____ years.

By law, elections must be held at least ever 5 years. They are frequently held more often.


What’s the minimum length of time for a Canadian election campaign?

At minimum, Canadians have 36 days to run for office during an election cycle. Sometimes this cycle may last twice as long.


Who or what has the final say in whether legislation is passed into law?

Even with all of its complicated political arrangements, the political system is still at the mercy of the Queen. She decides whether a bit of legislation truly becomes law.


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