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Midterm #2 Reading Review

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Political Science
POLI 221
Christa Scholtz

POLITICAL EXECUTIVE: - Permanent executive  develop and implement laws o PM, Cabinet, Central Agencies (PCO, PMO, Treasury Board, Dept. of Finance) - Cabinet  cabinet is a convention o Preferable to be an MP o Appointed by GG on the PM’s advice o Can be also be senators o PM tried to pick Cabinet members based on representation (in theory), partisan (members of the party governing Canada) o Roles of the Cabinet:  Collective responsibility ---- means that as a group, responsible  Representation ---- must be a rep from either territories, provinces, minorities or other groups (religious, women, etc.)  Suppose to reflect  Senate hasn’t assumed the role for fair rep, cabinet has been put in place to rep  Decision making --- suppose to act as a collective group with one descision o ---- now, cabinet as a whole plays less of a role in making decisions - PMO  Prime Minister’s Office o Central agency o Gives partisan + political advice to the PM o Chief of staff = head of the PMO (Niget Wright) o Policy advisors o Create appointment lists – makes the PM’s time table (schedule) o Does background research to feed the PM with needed info --- so that the PM track down names, make suggestions, etc. - PCO  Pricy Council Office o Recognized by the constitution --- statutory basis o Headed by the clerk of the privy council – the top bureaucrat/ public servant o Considered central agency o Clerk has a lot of experience, knows how Ottawa runned, knows public policy --- experienced in public policy o Clerk – provides public policy advice which is non-partisan (IN THEORY) --- SOMETIMES HARD TO PROVIDE ADVICE THAT IS POLICY FREE o Current clerk = Wayne Wouters o Duties (of clerk):  The PM’S DM – VERY IMPORTANT ROLES as the PM has grown in importance  Secretary to Cabinet (over see’s the PCO  Head of the federal public service (power over appts, decision of staffing below the PM’S power)  Coordinates Government  Maintain Cabinet records – paper work for cabinet meetings + coordinate o PCO must make sure that cabinet understands policies o PCO powers increased since confederation - Department of Fincance: o Has a statutory basis ---- under the financial administration Act o PM could not get rid of the department cause due to the constitution o PM picks the minister of finance o In charge of developing the country’s Macroeconomic policy  Fiscal policy  Economic forecasting  Preparation of budget  Administers $ transfers to provinces  Sets economic priorities for the deferral government  (decides how to get $ and how to spend $)  Develops regulations for the financial sector  Manages federal borrowing on financial markets  manages transfer programs ---- ex. Equalization program, Canadian health transfer --- recommendations to give $ to programs comes from this office o relationship between the PM and the minister of Finance is important - Treasure Board  statutory basis o Central agency o Chosen by the PM o A committee of the Cabinet (another department of cabinet) o If dept. of Finance sets policy – then TB cuts the cheques o TB President : Chief operations officer o Acts as a controller --- need Treasure board to spend $ o Dispurses $ collected through markets + taxes o Tasks:  Involved in budget process  Develops budget estimates – allocates $ to various parts of the public service  Approving regulations  Financial accountability o TB + FINANCE DEPARTMENT + Secretariat of TB --- IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP o - Line Departments: o other depts. within the fed gov that implement policy, headed by deputy minister + implement ministerial initiatives o directly managed by a minister o perform tasks in specific areas/field (defence, agriculture, environment, etc.) o all different in size + importance o the deputy minister advices the minister of their dept. o ESSAY QUESTIONS: 1. Is it a PM government or a Cabinet Government? How has the structure/role of the Cabinet changed since 1867 --- stages of evolution in decision making? - PM’s role has undergone change as well as the Cabinet - Central agencies have grown in importance as cabinet has grown and coordination Gov has grown - Polical executive (cabinet) is all run on convention --- gives the PM more room to dominate as he wishes (no real laws that restrict him from changing it) - Relationship between the PM and the Cabinet  “Premus interparas”  PM is the first amongst equals --- arguably he stands above the equals now - Argument for PM Gov  PM choses the structure + members of Cabinet o Convention is that theyre members of Parliament but can choose anyone he likes but usually MP’s seek Cabinet positions - Since 1970
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