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Heard The Governor General’s Suspension of Parliament.docx

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Political Science
POLI 221
Rick Schultz

Heard, Andrew, “The Governor General’s Suspension of Parliament: Duty Done or Dangerous Precedent?” in Russell and Sossin (eds) Parliamentary Democracy in Crisis (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009)  2008 constitutional crisis: profound disagreement on fundamental political issues  Did GG Michaelle Jean made the right decision to prorogue parliament? The Governor General’s role in Parliamentary Democracy  Independent official needed to protect the proper function of parliament and cabinet  Reserve powers; o Responsible government: the GG cannot let a PM and a cabinet that does not have the confidence of the house stay in power o Can insist that parliament be summoned to meet o Can dissolve parliament and announce general elections o Can refuse to follow the advice of the PM and the cabinet Constitutional Conventions  Prerogative powers of GG are constitutional conventions  One view: To prorogue parliament his the PM’s decision and the GG has to ratify it  Other view: her job was to refuse because she knew he had lost confidence of the House Was the Prime Minister’s Advice Unconstitutional?  A majority o
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