Configurations of Power

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22 Apr 2012
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Government of Canada Sept 28th
Why should a vote in a rural area have significantly more value than a vote in an
urban area? * Why should white, older people count more than visible minorities,
the young, lgbt concentrated in urban areas?
First past the post the post is fixed.
Major distortion: form a majority strong government with a minority of votes.
Favours the first national party, they get preferences, the second national party are
devalued.
Electoral system distorts, favours regional party over national third party
The principle of one person of one vote that one is of greater value to another is
not accurate.
HoC not representative to the diversity of the country. Too many older people, social
background, ethnic background or gender.
This HoC is more representative, but still under representative
Accountability
Wouldn’t it be nice if the house was 50% female? Yes, but would it have
consequences?
HoC during Question Period
Keeping/Holding Governments Accountable
Configurations of Power:
Executive centred
o Places power in the executive. Primarily in the hands of PM and
Cabinet. Part Discipline is crucial, controls the MPs. Parliament has a
relatively small role, insignificant to policy making not at the centre
or core of policy making. MP’s don’t have any independence. Canadian
parliament system is the most executive system in all parliamentary
democracies **
Parliament centred
o At the centre of power important to put parliament at the
insituttional heart of the political system. One which has power (SEE
FUNCTIONS), MP’s individually and collectivey emphasise power to
create laws…. Executive is dependent on the support of the HoC. Even
with a majority government, MP’s can act independently to a certain
extent to keep the executive under control.
Four essential functions of parliament:
o 1) to make a government. Establish a legitimate government
through the electoral process
o 2) Make a government work. Give it the authority, funds and
resources for governing the country.
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