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Lecture 9

Lecture 9 - Canadian Parliamentary System II

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Political Science
Luc Turgeon

Feb. 7, 2014 The Canadian Parliamentary System II Key Terms: • Central agencies/Cabinet support agencies • Parliament (centralized system – more so than the presidential system)  House of Commons  Senate • Party discipline Cabinet Support Agencies • Remember from Wednesday: Executive power in the hands of the PM and the Cabinet • Help by CentralAgencies o Central agency: used to designate organizations that have a central coordinating role. These organizations work across government departments to provide advice to the PM and Cabinet, and to ensure policy coherence and coordination under the act. • Four central agencies  Prime Minister’s Office – organization which serves the political interest of the PM. Staffed by partisan loyalists. Organizes the PM’s schedule, responsible to communication strategy with media.  Privy Council Office – offer advice. Clerk of the Privy Council (very prestigious job. Head of the public service, appointed by the PM. Support the Cabinet decision-making process. Act as the principle link between the PM and the Public Service.  Treasury Board of Canada – government administration; set management policies and measure management performance, oversee expenditure management and performance information (respects budget), act as a principle employer of the public service. (Giant human resources department)  Department of Finance – allocates funds and a fiscal framework • The Department of Justice:Afifth central agency? – reviews final policies to ensure that it conforms to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms Parliament • Canada’s Parliament: Bicameral (House of Commons + Senate) • House of Commons: Representation by population, but…  Senatorial rule – a province cannot have less seats in the House of Commons than its number of Senators  Grandfather clause – number of seats in the 1980 cannot be reduced  +/- 25% variation (with exceptions) • Divided in three groups  Those who serve in Cabinet  Those who support the Cabinet (backbenchers) – members of the party who are not in Cabinet  Those who oppose the government (opposition) – those who are not from the same party as the government • Key moments  Speech from the Throne  Budget and budget debate  Estimates  Opposition days – agenda is set my opposition parties – can introduce a motion of non-confidence (House of Co
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