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POL214Y1 (206)

The Machinery of Government

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Victoria Wohl

Canadian Politics: Week 4 J October 5 , 2010 Link between democracy and the media in Canada March 15, 2011 [email protected],}Z[ Power of the Press (continued from Week 3): - Before rise of public opinion surveys, PM was very dependent on members of parliament, MPs talked to constituency to get sense of what people were talking about o Now can get a more accurate reading of what people in a riding think than the MP himself o Undermined MPs and Parliament itself Most of what goes on in Parliament is a procedural sideshow Because have strong party discipline, subverts the theory of responsible government, which is that the cabinet is responsible to government N If PM controls the governing power, subverts the principle, can propose sanctions and penalties on those who go against him o Patronage is glue that keeps caucus together o MPs who have voted against party leaders have often been thrown out of Party caucus, can be kept from running in elections for the party, PM can withhold benefits to the riding of the MP in question MPs frightened about going against party leaders, especially the PM - Too much power concentrated in the hands of one person - Party discipline is too tight in Canada o MPs are not free to vote as constituents want, nor as their conscience states, outcomes of parliamentary debates seem to be predetermined - Cabinet solidarity and cabinet secrecy o Further drawbacks from democracy Advantages of Canadian System: - z}lL}Z}[Zresponsible, you can fix accountability as have a centralized system o Not the case in U.S. - Prime Minister appoints deputy ministers as well as cabinet ministers, major source of power o Deputy minister is plugged in to whole civil service o Will appoint a miniZLZ}}L[LlL} Z}Z
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