La Fontaine, from Lower Canada (now
Quebec), and Robert Baldwin, from Upper Canada (now Ontario),
united their efforts to promote the principle of responsible government.
They succeeded, and responsible government was first established
in what is now Canada in 1848. What makes government responsible
is an elected assembly that has full authority to legislate and
is accountable only to electors. This is what gives the vote its
Elected legislative assemblies had
existed since 1758, but representatives of the British Crown could block any
decision they made. Hence, the legislatures were not responsible to electors.
Before 1758, what is now Canada was governed directly by representatives of
the colonial powers, France and Britain.