The Syria of today offers tourists as much a cultural experience as a sightseeing one, where ancient history provides a fascinating backdrop to everyday life on the streets                          

 


Canada  

Government

Country name: conventional long form: none
                       conventional short form: Canada

Government type: confederation with parliamentary democracy

Capital: Ottawa

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

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 (since 6 February 1952), represented by Governor General Adrienne CLARKSON (since 7 October 1999)
elections: none; the monarchy is hereditary; governor general appointed by the monarch on the advice of the prime minister for a five-year term; 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
head of government: Prime Minister Jean CHRETIEN (since 4 November 1993); Deputy Prime Minister John MANLEY (since NA January 2002)
cabinet: Federal Ministry chosen by the prime minister from among the members of his own party sitting in Parliament

Legislative branch: bicameral Parliament or Parlement consists of the Senate or Senat (members appointed by the governor general with the advice of the prime minister and serve until reaching 75 years of age ; its normal limit is 104 senators) and the House of Commons or Chambre des Communes (301 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections: House of Commons - last held 27 November 2000 (next to be held by 2005)
election results: House of Commons - percent of vote by party - Liberal Party 41%, Conservative Alliance 26%, Bloc Quebecois 11%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party 12%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Conservative Alliance 66, Bloc Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12; note - percent of vote by party as of January 2002 - Liberal Party 51%, Canadian Alliance 10%, Bloc Quebecois 10%, New Democratic Party 9%, Progressive Conservative Party 18%; seats by party - Liberal Party 172, Canadian Alliance 66, Bloc Quebecois 38, New Democratic Party 13, Progressive Conservative Party 12

Judicial branch: Supreme Court of Canada (judges are appointed by the prime minister through the governor general); Federal Court of Canada; Federal Court of Appeal; Provincial Courts (these are named variously Court of Appeal, Court of Queens Bench, Superior Court, Supreme Court, and Court of Justice)

Political parties and leaders: Bloc Quebecois [Gilles DUCEPPE]; Canadian Alliance [Stephen HARPER]; Liberal Party [Jean CHRETIEN]; New Democratic Party [Alexa McDONOUGH]; Progressive Conservative Party [Joe CLARK]

Political pressure groups and leaders: NA

International organization participation: ACCT, AfDB, APEC, ARF (dialogue partner), AsDB, ASEAN (dialogue partner), Australia Group, BIS, C, CCC, CDB, CE (observer), EAPC, 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, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, MINURCA, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS, OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, UN, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNFICYP, UNHCR, UNMEE, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOVIC, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WCL, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, ZC

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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Toronto - Canada
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