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Lecture 5

POLB50 Lecture 5.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Christopher Cochrane

POLB50 Lecture 5 October-11-12 3:05 PM Cue Column: Note-Taking Area: • Government ○ Legislature ○ Judicial ○ Executive  In charge of admin  Force of gov't • Canadian executive different from USA executive ○ Canadian PM more powerful than US President • Constitutional monarchy ○ Monarch head of state ○ But power not supreme ○ Governs according to constitution ○ All state power carried in Queen's name  Queen rep is governor general (GG)  Known as formal exec  Executive in law; head of state in law  Reality: not lead of exec ○ Powers:  Constitution Act 1867 □ Queen given final authority □ Assigned # of powers to GG □ Queen (or GG) commander of chief for armed forces □ GG can appoint/dismiss Privy Council advisors □ Power to appoint senators, judges □ Can summon/dissolve parliament  Powers given to Queen but NOT to GG were transferred □ Letter patent, but didn't say GG powers not transferred to Queen  Royal Prerogative □ Residual powers □ Some powers can't be taken - prerogative  Appointment of PM and cabinet  Awarding honours  If PM dies, discretion needed, and resides with GG  Can check PM power  GG can refuse advice  Governor in Council ◊ GG acting by and with advice of PM/cabinet ◊ Symbolic head of state; frees up PM • Crown is infallible in constitutional law ○ Any mistake crown makes, someone else takes fault ○ Ex. GG not at fault when gov't screws up ○ Cabinet takes blame • Cabinet: group of Privy Councilors meeting with PM to discuss policy, administer gov't ○ Cabinet smaller subset of privy councilors ○ Body of responsible politicians ○ Responsible to  GG  PM  House of commons ○ If someone responsible  Have power to act in that area  If you screw up, then you're accountable ○ How are they responsible?  Responsible collectively to house of commons
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