“The selection of cabinet ministers is a good example of Canadian prime ministerial power in action.” Discuss the validity of this statement, with examples.
What is the significance of the British North America Act, 1867 (now known as the Constitution Act, 1867)?
How is the Canadian executive branch held accountable in the parliamentary system of government?
“The selection of cabinet ministers is a good example of Canadian prime ministerial power “Discuss the validity of this statement.
The Prime minister is the head of the Government and chair of the cabinet. According to the Constitution Act (1867), the Prime minister is in charge of forming the cabinet, receiving foreign diplomats to Ottawa, presiding over cabinet meetings, and responding to executive queries concerning providing leadership direction for the Government and responding to administrative questions . Under the unwritten constitutional conventions for a responsible government, organizing the cabinet is the prime minister’s primary role. Shortly after taking office, the prime minister, with the help of the Privy council and the parliament secretaries, appoints the cabinet ministers for the various government departments from the House of Commons and the senate. The prime minister is at liberty to interpret the unwritten conventions as he/she sees fit for the cabinet. For example, In January 1996, after the Quebec referendum prime minister, Chretien appointed Pierre Pettigrew and Stephane Dion as ministers before becoming MPs to increase Quebec’s representation in his Government. As a result, the prime has sovereign control and influence on the appointment top executive function both in the cabinet and public service.
Furthermore, the prime minister offers insights and recommendations for the selection of individuals to key positions in power. In this regard, the prime minister’s authority is stipulated as a government framework of style, substance, and structure. The convention also allows the appointment of senators to the cabinet. However, the Government can only appoint a few of them to avoid weakening the ministerial accountability.
Although the Canadian Constitution states that the Prime minister has a significant influence upon the executive function through the cabinet, it emphasizes that the Prime minister can only exercise his ministerial powers only if he/she can command the popularly elected assembly. The supreme authority of the prime minister over the cabinet is half true. The varying impression, anecdotes about prime ministerial powers is due to the intricate relationship of the parliamentary Government with the legislature and the executive. If the vote of confidence fluctuates due to polarized partisan politics, the incumbent prime minister is likely to lose both the parliament and cabinet. For example, in 1925, prime ministers King McKenzie’s Government was accused of embezzlement and corruption and lost the vote of confidence in the House of Commons. Following the Governor-General refusal to grant an election, King McKenzie resigned to avoid the no-confidence majority. By this time, most of the progress had withdrawn their support for his Government due to its corruptness. Prime ministerial power over the cabinet is primarily an intersection between the ability to command the House and win the vote of confidence. From this perspective, it is evident prime ministers’ power is dependent on the unwritten constitutional conventions that are subject to change depending on the political climate and actors. Therefore the prime minister does not execute but aid the executive function as a subject to the Crown. Consequently, the Prime minister creates a link between the legislature and the executive function, which can be misconstrued for running and operating the government.
What is the significance of the British North America Act (1867?)
The British North America Act originated from the desire and zeal of the Canadian union to grow and develop the British Monarch. The consensus to unite the three separate provinces under the BNA act is a symbolic event that marked the growth and expansion of the Crown’s powers that were previously vested in the Great Britain and Ireland. The resemblance of the constitution and some mastery of the Government still subject to the crown subject the federation to the sovereign power of Queen. The Queen’s assertion of the British North America Act brought about a new, independent, and prosperous and well man state that is present-day Canada. In the initial stages of implementation, this Act redistributed powers. It challenged successive governments demanding equal distribution of authorities to all government departments to represent the will and meet the needs of the people. It became increasingly bent on expansionist policies such as finance, banking, and public policy. The Act formed a strong foundation for the usage, practice, and applications of the conventions in the constitutionIn particular; the Act’s declaration played an integral role in the formation and development of the Medicare program.
The BNA Act lessened the rivalry between provincial and federal responsibilities. Although initially, the Act had conferred the provincial Government’s supreme power over time, the federal and provincial and the national Government came into a compromise that facilitated a government-funded health care system. The Federal Government allocated funds to social care to facilitate the provision of standard care in all the provinces. After the declaration Canadian officials used it to create and operate the Government of Canada which includes the Senate, Parliament, and the justice system. Section 91 to 95 outlined the rights of the judiciary and the legal system. The outright representation of this section was crucial to maintain decorum between the federal and provincial governments. For instance, section 91 consents authority to the Parliament to oversight laws and legislations in the banking sector, stock exchange, criminal law, armed forces, and the postal system, while section 92 gives confers the provincial government authority over local works, property, businesses and domestic works. The Act also served as a source of reference to solve emerging issues as it’s the first document to lay the structure and function of Canada. It was the first official Canadian constitution until 1982 when it became the Constitution Act of 1867, to form the foundation for Canada’s constitution Act of 1982.
How the Canadian executive is held accountable in the parliamentary system of Government
The Canadian executive branch comprises the Governor-General, Prime minister, and the cabinet. The executive council embodies all the decision-making power and is only subject to the Crown. Cabinet ministers in the various government departments are in charge of developing policies that are vetted as bills in Parliament to transform them into laws. Cabinet’s performance and portfolio are subject to scrutiny by the Parliament. Parliament has the mandate to pass laws, raise taxes, and regulate government spending. Proposed government policies are introduced by the cabinet ministers and tabled in both the Senate and Parliament for review, amendment, examination, and debate to align government spending with the needs of the people. Once the two chambers approve the legislation, it is passed on the Crown for the final proclamation to become law. Under the conventions, Parliament members who are not part of the cabinet and the opposition should work collaboratively to hold the executive government accountable through the cabinet decisions. A select parliamentary committee is appointed for all government portfolios or departments to audit proposed policies based on government sensitivity to the issues facing the Canadian citizens and the operation of a responsible government.
The proposed plans and ideas must be inclusive of the inhabitants as well as abide by the Crown. In the event of any infraction in the executive council, Parliament has the constitutional responsibility to veto bills. A member of the Parliament should move a formal motion to overthrow the governing party. When the Governor-General grants the action, the Parliament holds an in-house election to select the PM. If the majority of the MPS vote is non confidence, the prime minister is expected to resign or dissolve Parliament to conduct a general election. If the Prime minister requests for an election, he/she remains in power but has no power to legislate any bills or command the House of Commons. Similarly, if the Prime minister resigns, the governing party cannot exercise any authority in the national assembly. Parliament goes in to break and resumes for a new session after the general elections. During this period, the governing party can strike a deal with the opposition to pass the vote of confidence. Under the convention, it is right for the governing party to coerce the opposition to vote in their favor with the majority party to defeat the non –confidence votes moved by the opposition parties.
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