Is the Prime Minister Too Powerful

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In this essay. I will show that the Prime Minister is powerful and can do many possible dangers by analysing different elements inside and outside of our authorities over the period of different Prime Curates throughout the Canadian political history. In theory. the Parliament is the most of import establishment in the Canadian authorities and all members of the parliament are equal. The Prime Minister is supposed to be primus inter pares. intending first among peers. But over the old ages. the cabinet has become more institutionalised and less departmentalized. Hence the Prime Minister’s power has increased over the old ages.

Canada is the 1 of the most decentralised federations in the World. Power is swung off from the parliament and is more concentrated in the executive subdivision ( Courtney. 1984: p. 241 ) . The Prime Ministers is non excessively powerful in a planetary graduated table but it has significant power within Canada. However the power of the Prime Minister can besides be affected by many different factors. . Canada is a merger of the British parliamentary system with the American federalism. The Prime Minister is the highest function in the authorities. He can name or take single from the cabinet and loyal assignments.

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Lloyd Axworthy was hired as a cabinet curate by both Trudeau and Chretien ( Cook & A ; Belanger. 2007: p. 401 ) . The PM controls all justnesss of the Supreme Court of Justice. vacant seats in the senate. all caputs of Canadian Crown Corporations and many more. The Prime Minister’s powers extend beyond the degree of federal authorities. The effects of the powerful Prime Minister do non needfully exhibit from the PM itself by other histrions in the authorities. Provincial Prime Ministers and territorial leaders are allowed to pass on straight to the PM without the traveling thought the web of curates.

Former Prime Minister of News Brunswick. Frank McKenna organized a one-on-one meeting with former PM Jean Chretien during a golf game. The result of this informal meeting was a conference on the economic hereafter of Atlantic Canada. every bit good as improved substructure with respects to a cost-sharing understanding on the Trans Canada Highway ( Savoie. 1999: p. 75 ) . The PM did non necessitate inquire the cardinal bureaus to fix a proposal and so subject it to for consideration in the authorities determination doing procedure.

The political power is merely in the custodies of the Prime Minister and a little roup or carefully selected messengers instead than the Prime Minister moving in concert with elective Cabinet co-workers ( Savoie. 1999b: p. 635 ) . However some argue that the PM does non keep all the power purportedly associated with such a place. Prime ministers could be pull stringsing the Prime Minister. An illustration would be how McKenna used an informal meeting to accomplish what’s best for the state. There is a strong instance based on the fact that he would fire trade curates if they didn’t agree to the trade. Other curates besides compete against the Prime Minister and could jeopardize the PM’s executive power.

A clear illustration would be how Paul Martin overthrew Chretien in 2004 ( Malloy. 2004: p. 214 ) . Over the past 20 old ages. the Prime Minister has been able to put to death more power than earlier. Traditionally the Cabinet is seen as a corporate decision-making organic structure. Prior to the sixtiess. single Cabinet Ministers had significantly more power and liberty and developed their ain policy and plan with less respect for cardinal coordination with lone minimum premier ministerial intervention. After 1960s. this was replaced by the institutionalised cabinet.

As the society and issues became more complex. single curates and sections could non do determinations without the taking consideration of others. Polices from one section necessarily affect others. As a consequence there were more corporate decision-making through audience and coordination between Cabinet Ministers. After 1984. the Cabinet became even more institutionalised and less departmental ; the Prime Minister became a more dominant portion in authorities determination devising. This was a switch from the underside to exceed attack to a top to bottom attack. There is a larger penetration on the whole image.

The PM entirely or the along with several curates set the precedences and way of the authorities while leting the cardinal bureaus overlook the state of affairs. Cardinal bureaus like Prime Minister’s Office. Privy Council Office. Department of Finance and Treasury Board Secretariat became more powerful in the political system. The Prime Minister has excessively much ministerial power as he is allowed to fire and engage any cabinet member at anytime. A clear illustration would be Brian Mulroney subscribing the North American Free Trade Agreement without informing other members of the cabinet ( Hillmer & A ; Granatstein. 2000: p. 199 ) .

This centralisation of power in the authorities is made worse by the inability of MP’s in the house to keep the PM adequately. Consequences like corruptness could besides originate. The Gomery Commission of Inquiry and Sponsorship Scandal pointed out the deficiency of democratic penetration on the Prime Minister and Prime Minister’s Office was a major cause of the corruptness. One major issue that allows the Prime Minister execute such a high grade of ministerial power is the Cabinets ability to utilize party subject to guarantee it has its party’s support. MPs of the party must ever “toe the party line” to vouch the will of the PM is carried out.

If any elective member of the Prime Ministers’ party were to vote against the PM. the PM has the executive power to throw out the individual from party. He will so run as an independent Member of Parliament with limited resources for his ain work and has no procedural rights to raise any issue in the Parliament. Jean Chretien demanded trueness from his party and did non waver to penalize MPs which were afflicted to the same party that opposed ( Granatstein & A ; Hillmer. 2000: p. 222 ) . Party subject diminishes Canadian democracy and goes against the political orientation of a responsible authorities.

The MPs are afraid of executing for their ain beliefs because of the effects the PM will enforce on them ; this undercuts the abilities of MPs. Some argue to support the current system that non all MPs disagree with the party leading. There are many instances in Canadian history that dissent can be voiced behind the doors and have caused policies or authorities enterprises to be beads or amended. Compared to the US theoretical account. the elective representatives have a greater independency from their political party and consequences in slow legislative procedures.

Some argue that if the Prime Minister had more power. it is able to put to death constabularies faster without traveling through all the processs in the policy devising procedure. Another major factor that dictates the power of the Prime curate is composing of the House of Commons. A Majority authorities consist a lower limit of 155 seats. The Prime Minister will be able to force agendas without any opposition because the PM’s power is derived from the party members of the House. The Prime curate is free to roll and cover with any file he wants. It is virtually a one party-state.

Jean Chretien had three bulk authoritiess and this shows how serious the political powers are centralized within the Prime Minister and regulating party. However under a Minority Government. the Prime Minister must do via medias by go throughing different pieces of dockets in exchange for assurance. Because of party subject. the PM dressed ores on obtaining support from resistance members to go through his statute laws ( Bickerton & A ; Gagnon. 2009: p. 145 ) . The Members of Parliaments are no longer “nobodies” . as Truedeau has called them before ( Leduc. 2009: p. 132 ) .

There is a displacement of power from the PM and Cabinet to the elective members of the House. There are different schemes in which the Prime Minister can cover with a Minority Government. One manner was to put up a alliance authorities of two or more parties to procure a bulk of seats in the House. Steven Harpers opposes the thought of a alliance authorities. He seeks the resistance support for his legislative plan and makes accommodations to fulfill other party’s demands. The current governor general. Michelle Jean is the local representative of the Queen in Canada. The governor general’s power must be exercised on the advice of the authorities.

However the governor general does some authorization. she is able to cite or fade out the parliament. She besides prorogued the parliament by the petition of Steven Harper to detain a possible ballot on the gesture of non-confidence during 2008-2009 Canadian parliamentary differences ( Frank. 2009: p. 34 ) . The Fundamental law does go forth some power to the governor general against the Prime Minister like the King-Byng difference. In 1926. Lord Byng refused Mackenzie King’s petition to fade out the parliament and name an election. This shows that other histrions in the political system can still stultify the PM’s power.

However this happened in a period before the transition of the Statue of Westminster 1931. which changed the station from the representative of United Kingdom to the direct representative of the uniquely Canadian crowned head. Another possible privilege power of the governor general is to disregard a authorities. This has ne’er happened in Canada. but occurred in Australia 1975. Powers within the authorities can besides restrict the Prime Minister. For illustration. the PM opposed a peculiar measure or gesture but person of similar stature. Finance Minister could dispute the PM’s resistance.

This illustration can be seen when the Finance Minister. Paul Martin wanted to denote a major pension program change but Prime Minister Chretien opposed this but Martin challenged him and finally Chretien followed through ( Chretien. 2008: p. 59 ) . The Supreme Court of Canada has the ability to restrict the power of the Prime Minister. It can annul authorities policies and coerce the authorities to follow a different attack. The controversial notwithstanding clause could besides be used to invalidate Torahs. The powerless senate besides has the ability to constraint the Prime Minister. The senate is given a veto over all statute law.

The senate can detain or hinder the statute law ( Malloy. 2004: pp. 206 – 207 ) . This has happened both to Brain Mulroney and Chretien. Mulroney attempted to present the Goods and Services Tax ( GST ) and Chretien tried to call off the denationalization of the Pearson Airport. In order to vouch the statute law to base on balls. both PM used constitutional proviso to name new senators into the Senate ( Nelson. Wagenberg & A ; White. 1994: p. 218 ) . There are powers outside of the Government that can restrict the powers of the Prime Minister. Interest groups have consistent and organized long-run impact on the political procedure.

In 1985. on the issue of partial de-indexing of pensions in 1985. senior citizens reacted strongly to the proposal that attacked their pocketbooks and forced the authorities to endorse down ( Nelson. Wagenberg & A ; White. 1994: p. 142 ) . The Prime Minister is besides the public inducer. Television has been a monolithic tool for the authorities to convey the PM’s message to everyone. But the mass media is besides another signifier power outside of the authorities that could damage the Prime Minister. The media normally targets the negative side of the PM by exposing the errors. If we look at Jean Chretien’s turn outing the Proof address. “A cogent evidence is a cogent evidence.

What sort of a cogent evidence? It’s a cogent evidence. A cogent evidence is a cogent evidence. And when you have a good cogent evidence. it’s because it’s proven” . this does non do much sense. This amendss the public image of the Prime Minister can sabotage the power of the authorities ( Chretien. 2008: p. 227 ) . In decision. the Prime Minister is the caput of the authorities. Cabinet chair. and party leader and besides dictates the parliament. His powers are derived from the support of his party through utilizing party subject. A Majority Government is an ideal state of affairs for the Prime Minister because his powers are does non necessitate to be compromised to any political parties.

But the PM will compromise to cabinet curates and besides vie with his ain curates to keep his place. The construction of authorities besides divided up to parts like legislative and judiciary besides undermines the PM. The Governor General enhances the Prime Minister’s power most of the clip but this depends on the fortunes. External factors like force per unit area groups. sentiment polls and the media besides impose a menace to the Prime Minister’s power. But in comparing with other caputs provinces. the Prime Minister of Canada still has the most centralised powers in his manus.

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