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POL382H1 (15)


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Political Science

Renewing Canadian DemocracyPOL382H1SthJan 202012Week 2 The Prime Minister and Cabinet Too much power or not enoughGuest Speaker Bill GrahamFormer Foreign Affairs Advisor 20022004oMade the decision NOT to go to Iraq but to go to AfghanistanoGuantanamooMaher Arar Chief of Defence 20042006Margaret Thatcher Joke Margaret and her Cabinet go to a restaurant The waiter comes over and asks Mrs Thatcher what will you be eating today She answers Steak Rare Waiter And for the Vegetables Thatcher They pointing to Cabinet will have the same thingJoking that the Cabinet has no power and that they are merely vegetablesIf the Cabinet has no power than neither does the peoplePrimus Inter Pares vs DictatorProblem with Parliament is that if the party in power has a majority than we are on the fringe of a possible dictatorshipUS has no functioning regular cabinet no discussionCanada cabinet meets to discuss every TuesdayoIssues are departmentalized but everyone discussesThe mere fact that the PM has the power to elect Cabinet Ministers means that they have omnipotent power this power comes from diverse set of sourcesNo one will fight against the PM if they want to be in the CabinetSome Cabinet Ministers have power themselves some have a political following and support so that even if they roar they will not get fired The Prime Minister will look bad and lose support if she goes against particular members of the Cabinet Finance Minister every department considers this man the ENEMY hahaThere is more to WHO IS IN CHARGE than mere function of position within the systemoThere are those who have more influence and power than others who are in similar positionsQUEBEC Francophone Lieutenant Lucien Bouchard was Lieutenant and then became the leader of the Bloc Quebecois There is no formal requirement for the Cabinet to include a Francophone Lieutenant but it is done out of customoPMs continue this custom because no one wants to be the man that let Canada fall apart regarding Quebec secessionCentralization of POWER PCO Privy Council Office civil service PMO Prime Ministers OfficeBoth arbitrate disputes between department
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