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The Executive Chapter 8 The Executive Chapter 8

Learning Objectives n n Understand the role of the GG; The prime minister and Learning Objectives n n Understand the role of the GG; The prime minister and cabinet Examine what is meant by responsible government What is an MP and what does this person do? Examine how the power of the prime minister might be reduced.

The Governor General n n n We need a permanent representative in the country The Governor General n n n We need a permanent representative in the country to represent the Queen. Term of office is 5 to 7 years. Theoretically nonpartisan appointments

Functions of the GG n n The GG has extensive powers but they are Functions of the GG n n The GG has extensive powers but they are restrained by constitutional convention. GG has two major powers ¡ ¡ The reserve powers. The Ceremonial Function

The Reserve Powers n n Power to name prime minister Power to dismiss a The Reserve Powers n n Power to name prime minister Power to dismiss a prime minister who has lost confidence of the House Make appointments to the judiciary and the senate Dissolve parliament and call elections.

The Ceremonial Function n The head of state represents the crown ¡ ¡ Presides The Ceremonial Function n The head of state represents the crown ¡ ¡ Presides over a number of important political ceremonies, such as the opening of parliament Represents Canada at a wide variety of events when official representation is needed.

Responsible Government 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Crown will appoint advisors who are MPs Responsible Government 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Crown will appoint advisors who are MPs Crown will appoint ministers only MPs who have the confidence of the house. Crown will act only on the advice of its ministers Ministers will act together as a team “collective responsibility” When a ministry loses the confidence of the House it must resign or request a new election.

The Cabinet n n n Queen's Privy Council for Canada: is given the right The Cabinet n n n Queen's Privy Council for Canada: is given the right to advise the Governor General. Privy Council is appointed by the GG, but these appointments are under the advice of the prime minister. These are life time appointments.

The Cabinet n n n The subset of the privy council is the cabinet The Cabinet n n n The subset of the privy council is the cabinet which actually advises the GG. The members of the cabinet are called ministers. The Cabinet works as a team under the doctrine of collective responsibility.

The Cabinet Committee System n The complexity of government requires the cabinet to meet The Cabinet Committee System n The complexity of government requires the cabinet to meet in sub committees. ¡ ¡ Cabinet Committee Membership Economic Union Social Union Special Committee of Council Treasury Board

The Prime Minister n n Most powerful politician in our regime. The Prime minister The Prime Minister n n Most powerful politician in our regime. The Prime minister is the “First Minister” PMO – Prime Minister’s Office. Privy Council office

The Civil Service n The Crown has servant to carry out executive tasks, known The Civil Service n The Crown has servant to carry out executive tasks, known as the civil service. ¡ ¡ Line Departments – some sort of support given to the general public. Central agencies: PCO or Treasury Board, these coordinate government policy rather than provide services.

The Role of Parliament n n Parliament consists of the house of Commons, Senate The Role of Parliament n n Parliament consists of the house of Commons, Senate and the Queen. Only the House of Commons is a democratic institution. The power of parliament has waned under the party system. Power was then transferred to the cabinet.

Prime Minister n n Holds enormous power, yet neither the PM nor the cabinet Prime Minister n n Holds enormous power, yet neither the PM nor the cabinet are mentioned in the Constitution Act. With cabinet, the PM acts to advise the GG and this role is called responsible government.

Sources of Prime Ministerial Power n Head of the party the wins the most Sources of Prime Ministerial Power n Head of the party the wins the most seats in a general election is the prime minister. ¡ n This is an appointment by the Governor General, but her role is to ensure that the party that can best hold the “confidence” of the house will be in power. The prime minister has power because this person decides promotions within the Members of Parliament.

So what does a Canadian MP make? n n The base salary for all So what does a Canadian MP make? n n The base salary for all MPs is $141, 000. As well, each MP has a non-taxable expense allowance of at least $22, 950 (it may be higher, depending on the MP's riding). MPs also get a housing allowance of $12, 000 for accommodation in Ottawa. On top of their base salaries, some members of parliament receive extra pay: ¡ ¡ ¡ n Prime Minister$141, 000 Cabinet Minister$67, 600 Leader of the Opposition$67, 600 Other Party Leaders$14, 300 Parliamentary Secretary$14, 300 Speaker of the House$67, 600 Other members of parliament, such as chairs of committees and party whips also receive extra compensation on top of their base salaries.

The Current Liberal Powerbase n n n 1 prime minister 25 cabinet ministers 12 The Current Liberal Powerbase n n n 1 prime minister 25 cabinet ministers 12 secretaries of state 27 parliamentary secretaries 64 potential appointments from a total of 135 Liberal MPs out of 308 seats In the Chrétien government there were 55 appointments out of 169 Liberals

How might the power of the PM be limited? n Can’t do it constitutionally How might the power of the PM be limited? n Can’t do it constitutionally ¡ ¡ n n Not given power constitutionally Constitutional changes are difficult and nearly impossible so far in Canadian history Could do it by convention, or changing the composition of government. Get more MPs

The British Cabinet n n n Ministers of State 29 Under Secretaries of State/ The British Cabinet n n n Ministers of State 29 Under Secretaries of State/ Parliamentary Secretaries 35 Whips 22 Law Officers 3 Total 112 out of 410 from a total of 659 seats.

The British PM is less powerful n There are three times as many backbenchers The British PM is less powerful n There are three times as many backbenchers who know they never have a chance to be in cabinet.

Other ways to limit the power of the PM n n Reform the leadership Other ways to limit the power of the PM n n Reform the leadership vote to allow only MPs to select leader. Limit the need to have party solidarity and the threat of confidence votes Set the date for the election outside the PM’s control (such as B. C) Increase the power of committees