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POL214Y5 (32)
Chapter 21

POL214 - Chapter 21 Notes.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Political Science
Erin Tolley

POL214 Week 8;Chap 21 Executive Chapter 21 - The Executive: Crown, PM The Crown  To classify Canada as a constitutional monarchy means that it is a democracy headed by a king or queen.  Canada is said to have “dual executive” - the formal & largely symbolic executive powers are given to the Queen or GG, but the effective executive is made up of the PM and Cabinet.  The concept of the Crown revolves around the head of state & can be defined as the collectivity of executive powers exercised by or in the name of the monarch.  The Crown is not only the collectivity of executive powers, it also represents the entire state & embodies what belongs to the people collectively – it is a metaphor for the country. This can be seen in Crown corporations (state owned corporations) or Crown lands (state-owned lands).  3 important aspects of Parliament also reflect the existence of the monarchial system: royal assent, the speech from the throne, and Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.  “Loyal Opposition” demonstrates that criticism of the govt has been legitimized and institutionalized in the name of the Queen.  In speaking of the powers of the Crown, it is best to see them as being in the possession of the Queen but exercised by the PM and Cabinet. The Governor General  The Queen remains the Canadian head of state, but in her absence the governor general may perform any of her functions and exercise any of her powers. The Canadian PM actually chooses the governor general, who serves a term of approx 5 years. Powers of the Crown  The Queen of Canada and governor general derive their powers, all of which are exercised according to firmly established constitutional conventions, from 3 main sources: 1. The Constitution Act, 1867 2. The Letters Patent and 3. The royal prerogative.  Among the powers explicitly given to the Queen was the one to appoint extra senators. The 1867 act gave the governor general the power to appoint regular senators and judges, to appoint the Speaker of the Senate, to give royal assent to legislation, and to recommend money bills to the House of Commons.  In addition, it referred to the governor general’s power to summon and dissolve Parliament.  The prerogative powers involve the residual authority of the Crown that remains form the day when the monarch was almost absolute.  These are unwritten powers, based on custom and convention, although some of them, such as the right to summon an
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