POLS 375 Lecture Notes - Helena Guergis
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Powers of the PM
Rise of Court Government and Foreign Policy Formulation
The Prime Minister
His power flows… not necessarily from the position of prime minister.
His power flows from the simultaneous power of other institutions… that
basically result in an elected dictator.
As a result, the prime minister has a personal stamp on foreign policy.
The longer they're prime minister, the stamps grow.
Because they can, the prime minister often brings their personal ideology
in foreign policy even if they are replacing someone.
One of the reasons: Congress is tougher and the administrative
powers are weaker.
In contrast with the Americans, you can see the shifts between presidents
and see overlap in foreign policy.
There is no check on the prime minister, while there is a check on the U.S.
president. The prime minister is the head of government and the head of
the legislative assembly (Parliament).
Because of the powers of the PM, their personality and priorities are important
determinates in Canadian foreign policy.
He is the head of Cabinet.
The prime minister has unilateral power to determine who he wants to be
in his Cabinet.
The only time this becomes an exception is maybe because they have a
minority government, or the person being removed that is so powerful that
the prime minister just can't tell them what to do.
Prime minister's power flows from multiple positions.
They set party doctrine.
Example: No Tea Party?
Prime minister can kick you out of party and even prevent you from
running again in the party (example: Helena Guergis).
All Commonwealth countries have high commissioners.
As such, we have a representative: the Governor General.
Queen is Queen of Canada.
Deputy minister(s): unelected bureaucrats who are selected by
the prime minister.
All of the department ministers.
As head of government, the prime minister is in charge of the bureaucracy
of government and is also in charge of selecting the bureaucracy in
government. As such, he picks:
There has been a fairly new tradition: junior ministers.
Prime minister is head of the party.
The bureaucracy that runs government is appointed by the prime minister and it
is their job to represent the best views of Canada.
March 11, 2013
POLS 375.3 Page 1
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