POLB50 Lecture 5 October 11 2012.
Key terms: Constitutional Monarchy (the Queen,, the Governor General), Formal vs. Political
Executive, Three Sources of General Government’s power, Governor in Council, Cabinet, Prime
Minister (Primus Inter Pares
Executive’s in Canada. Government power divided in 3 branches in Canada. Executive Minister
Forces the governments will. Canadian Executive is different from the US executive. Prime
minister is more powerful than President of US – through the levels of power which far exceeds
power of the US presidents.
We are a constitutional Monarchy. Monarch is the head of the state but governs through the
constitution. Queen is a symbolic embodiment system. (Ex. Minister of Crown, Royal, Majesty).
All sovereign power is symbolized by the queen. Governor General is chosen by the prime
minister. Governor General and queen are formal executive and not de facto. They do have
some power by the constitution act of 1867- queen given final executive authority; number of
power to Queen or General Governor Commander of the armed forces, power to admit or
dismiss advisors as Privy Council.
Governor General can appoint senates and senates are not elected, sec 96. General Governor
can appoint judges and needs to sign legislation. Governor General can summon and dissolves
One point is there’s a Second authority of General Governor.
Letter Patent 1947 – all powers and authorities lawfully belonging to us (meaning the queen) in
respect to us. Governor General is the most powerful because it has queen powers.
Royal Purgative (third authority of Governor General) – are residual powers of the monarch that
have not been taken from the government levels. Still some powers which are not in law that
cannot be taken up by others include the appointment of Prime Minster, cabinet and award
honours. These powers aren’t forced. If prime minister dies, the decision of new prime minister
is with the Governor General. De facto power resides to the prime minister.
Royal Purgative examples - Charles Tupper lost the election and tried to appoint his friends to
the Senate. Governor General refuses to appoint his friends. Another example -King Bing affair.
Governor General should take Prime Minister Advice but if it’s unfair, he has the power not to
sign the legislative.
Governor General acting by and with the prime minister. Plays a ceremonial role
Crown is infallible- any mistake it makes, somebody else has to take the fall. Somebody else has
to be accountable but not crown and Governor General. The political executives – the Cabinet
get the blame. They are the Privy councils formulate policy, figure the cost of the government
and administer the government. They are the advisor of the government. Not all privy councils
are the cabinet. They meet with the prime minister. Cabinet is a body of responsible politicians.
They’re responsible to the Governor General who appointed and responsible to the prime
minister and important to Canadian democracy to the House of Common who are politically
accountable. Responsible – meaning you ha