Canada is an independent sovereign democracy and a federal state with 10 largely self-governing provinces and three territories all controlled by a central government. Confederation took place in 1867. Parliamentary democracy continued to operate after this time consisting of a Parliament, with a Governor General representing the Queen; an appointed Upper House, the Senate; and an elected Lower House and the House of Commons. For every province there is a legislature, with a Lieutenant-Governor representing the Queen; an appointed Upper House, the Legislative Council, and an elected Lower House, the Legislative Assembly.
The Governor General (and each provincial Lieutenant-Governor) governs through a Cabinet, headed by a Prime Minister or Premier. If a national or provincial general election gives a party opposed to the Cabinet in office a clear majority in the House of Commons or the legislature, the Cabinet resigns and the Governor General or Lieutenant-Governor calls on the leader of the that party to become Prime Minister and form a new Cabinet. The Prime Minister then selects the other Ministers, who are then formally appointed by the Governor General or, in the provinces, by the Lieutenant-Governor.