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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science

Cabinet Cabinet ministers must be MPs. Why? To be a minister, you first have to get elected to the House of Commons as a MP for the winning party. In the parliamentary system, ministers sit in the House of Commons. Ministers are MPs. Under responsible government, we see the fusion of the executive and legislative branches. The members of the executive (the PM and cabinet) sit in the legislature (the House of Commons). Ministers are responsible to the House for their conduct of the government. They cannot escape that responsibility. They answer, in a very public way, to the assembly of elected MPs from all corners of the country. The conventions of collective & individual ministerial responsibility. Ministers are collectively responsible to the Legislature for the conduct of government. Ministers are individually responsible for the management of their respective departments. Regional representation in cabinet: an example of intrastate federalism. Ever since Confederation, there has been a general expectation that the cabinet, which is the most important executive decision-making body in the country, should be broadly representative of Canada’s different regions. For this reason, every government is expected to appoint ministers from every region of the country, and ideally, from every province. House of Commons 5 Functions of the House of Commons 1.Support the government. Under responsible government, the government stays in power as long as it has the confidence of the House. 2.Supplies the personnel of the executive. Under responsible government, cabinet ministers must be MPs (with the exception of one or two Senators). 3.constituency work As our representatives, MPs are the people we can turn to when we need assistance in dealing with the federal bureaucracy. MPs receive funding to maintain offices in their ridings for members of the public to visit. 4.Holding the executive accountable. The House of Commons scrutinizes the operation of government and demands that ministers explain and defend all government decisions 5.The House is the forum for the ‘continuous election campaign’ that goes on in between elections Governments and ministers who cannot successfully defend themselves in the House of Commons will suffer in the polls. Opposition parties and party leaders that cannot mount credible attacks on the government will have a tougher time persuading the voters they are a legitimate alternative. The Three Roles of the MP: Trustee concept MPs make up their own minds how to vote on issues, even if this is unpopular Constituency delegate MPs do what they think their constituents want even if they risk punishment from their leaders Party delegate MPs do what their leaders tell them,
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