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9POLI 101- October 12.docx

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Political Science
Course Code
POLI 101

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EXECUTIVE POWER Wednesday, October 12, 2011 Review: The Executive - Formal executive: The Crown (symbolic, but influences how the government is structured) - Political executive: PM and the Cabinet - We spoke about how PM appoints ministers in the cabinet - The issues, limitations in the decision making process Cabinet Committees - Entire Cabinet consists of about 40 ministers (currently) - Committees are necessary to organize and delegate work, and made the discussion/deliberation process - Small groups are more manageable, large groups are difficult to control and make discussion difficult and time consuming - PM assigns committees - The most senior/influential ministers are generally included in the most important committees - The distinction between „inner‟ and „outer‟ Cabinet is important Committees - Standing Committees are the committees that are present in every cabinet, regardless of the government (as these committees are necessary to organize work) - „Operation‟ or „Priorities and Planning‟ (same committee) - Treasury Committee - Responsible for the bulk of spending of both the cabinet and government - International Affairs - Many different ministers will be included in this committee, as decisions made require coordination between departments such as trade, defense and international affaires - Ad Hoc Committees - Committees that are government specific (not necessarily found in every government) - These coordinate the activities of the government in different areas - These often highlight/signify the priorities of the specific government - EG. Afghanistan Committee, Vancouver 2010 Olympics Committees - These committees have specific goals, and are dissolved once their mission is completed - Committees are a source of considerable decision-making power - A post on a certain committee, despite perhaps a small portfolio, is a sign that the PM thinks highly of you - Roadmap for cabinet power - By looking at the makeup of a cabinet committee, one can identify which ministers have influence on the PM - Ministers that are: a) On a lot of committees b) On committees with the PM c) On Important/central committees such as „Priorities and Planning‟ - Have a greater deal of influence - Committees make policy recommendations to the Cabinet, but it is Cabinet that ultimately hold the power to approve or disapprove the policy proposal - If the research behind a proposal by a committee has been done well, once the proposal has been presented to the Cabinet it is almost official - Not much room for debate - Committees integrate the different departments and ministers that make up the cabinet: - - Coordination between ministries or departments are done on a Cabinet level rather than on a department level (between themselves) - Cabinet and its committees makes decision, departments carry these decisions out The Prime Minister Primus inter pares (first among equals) - PM is no more than an MP in many respects - There is some recognition of superior status however - Theoretically he is one of equals (not necessarily true in practice) - „First Minister‟: He is the first minister appointed to the government by the Governor General (he goes on to select the rest) - The structure of the provincial and federal level is similar in this aspect - Structure impacts the way the two levels of government interact and relate - Both premier and PM are “firsts”
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