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Lecture 7

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL214Y5
Professor
Erin Tolley
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 7: The Executive Today’s objectives • Understand Parliament o What is Parliament’s role? o How does Parliament work? • Describe the relationship between Crown, PM and Parliament  • Discuss the role of the Crown in Canada  • Assess the utility, legitimacy and democracy of the Crown  • Discuss the PM’s power  The dual executive Formal Executive • Monarchy (represented by GG) • Largely ceremonial functions  Political Executive • Prime Minister and Cabinet • Political leadership Structure of Parliament Roles of Parliament • To make a government • To a make a government work • To make a government behave • To make an alternative government • To make a government legitimate Responsible government • “A form of government in which the political executive must retain the  confidence of the elected legislature and must resign or call an election if and  when it is defeated on a motion of non­confidence” (Dyck and Cochrane, p. 689)  • MPs can express non­confidence in two ways: o Motion of non­confidence o Defeating the government on an important vote  ‘Prorogation crisis’ • Fall 2008 • Conservatives’ fiscal update • Opposition reaction • Government backpedalling Avoiding a confidence motion • Three opposition parties planned to defeat the government and form a governing  coalition • Parliament was prorogued before the vote on the confidence motion could be held Why do we talk about the prorogation ‘crisis’? • Principle of responsible government • Too much proroguing? • Misunderstanding of how Parliament works • Legitimacy of coalition or “alternative” governments • Role of the Crown King­Byng affair Executive powers • Dual executive  • PM exercises the GG’s executive powers  o Summoning and dissolving Parliament  o Organizing government  o Calling elections  o Making appointments  o Negotiating treaties  o Declaring war and peace  The Gove
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