Class Notes (834,037)
Canada (508,290)
POLSCI 1G06 (280)
Todd Alway (280)

Political Science Lecture 2a Jan 9 2013.doc

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Political Science
Todd Alway

Political Science 1G06 2013 II Lecture 2a: The Canadian Executive: - Where does executive power lie in the Canadian political system? - Canada is a constitutional monarchy - At least in a Constitutional sense, it is the Queen that is at the Apex of Canadian power Crown - “Defined as the collectivity of executive powers exercised by or in the name of the Monarch” Governor General: - The Governor General exercises Crown power within Canada, in the name of the Queen Power in Theory - The Governor General (at least on paper) o Appoints Senators and Judges o Gives royal assent to law o Summons and dissolves Parliament Power in Practice: - All of this is done on the “advice” of the government of the day - The Governor General’s assent is usually a “rubber stamp” - Very little real power in practice - However, in the past there have been rare cases where the Governor General has had a tangible political role to play - Appointment of the Prime Minister - Usually no real discretion - If a Party has won a majority of the seats in a general election o The Governor General automatically invites the individual leading that Party to form a government - However there were occasions in in the past where there was no clear successor for the office of Prime Minister - The PM died in office and the Governor General played a role in appointing one until elections could be held - Two cases in the 1890s 1 - This is not a real power in the present as Parties are better organized – and leadership succession is much clearer - Discretion in when to call an election - Usually will dissolve Parliament on the basis of a request from the Prime Minister - However, 1926 – King-Byng Affair Should Canada eliminate its ties to the Monarchy? Disadvantages: - According to critics, “the monarchical system brings with it a set of undemocratic values – elitism, privilege, etc.” Advantages: - The Crown has a role to play when unexpected crisis develop. It is a source of legitimate power that can be used “only when normal controls cannot operate and a crisis gets out of hand” So, if the Crown possesses no real power in most instances, where does executive power lie in the Canadian political system? Prime Minister and Cabinet: De facto power: - In a de facto sense it is the Prime Minister and his or her Cabinet that are the most powerful executive agents in the Canadian government Cabinet: - It is in the Cabinet that policy is decided upon - The Prime Minister alone decides the Membership of the Cabinet, but there are some constraints provided by convention (long-standing practices rather than legal requirements): - 1. “All Cabinet ministers must have a seat in Parliament:” - Elected Members of Parliament from the House of Commons - Or Senators - Those without a seat may be in Cabinet temporarily. However, by convention they must gain a seat in Parliament expeditiously - 2. “Each Province should be represented in Cabinet” 2 - 3. There should be some representation of minority groups o Linguistic, ethnic, gender
More Less

Related notes for POLSCI 1G06

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.