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
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
Ministers are individually responsible for the management of their respective
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
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
The Three Roles of the MP:
Trustee concept MPs make up their own minds how
to vote on issues, even if this is
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,