Canadian Politics Lecture 21 - CHAPTER 8 THE MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT check out pg 234 table 8.1 for the formal organization of Canadian gov legislature

Canadian Politics Lecture 21 - CHAPTER 8 THE MACHINERY OF...

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CHAPTER 8- THE MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT - check out pg 234 table 8.1 for the formal organization of Canadian gov. - legislature makes law; the exec. Branch implements the laws; and the judicial branch interprets them - the legislative branch shall… o represent the people and be accountable to them through periodic elections o debate public issues and provide a forum for competition between political parties o make laws - the executive branch shall o implement the laws o ensure that the public’s business is carried out efficiently, accountably, and in accordance with the law o be non-partisan at the bureaucratic level, such that non- elected officials faithfully carry out the policies of whatever party forms the government of the day. - The judicial branch shall… o Be non-partisan and free from interference by the government; o Interpret the law’s meaning o Not substitute its preferences for those of elected public officials in matters of public policy, as distinct from legal and constitutional interpretation. Executive Branch - the monarch and governor general o Canada is a constitutional monarchy o Monarch embodies the authority of the Canadian state o Any action of the gov. of Canada is taken in the queen’s name o Monarch is responsible for appointing the PM and for deciding when parliament will be dissolved and a new election held.
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o Her duties are carried out by GG o Queen and GG perform mainly symbolic functios o Real decision making powers of the exec. Are exercised by the PM who is head of gov. and cabinet o In the case of dissolving parliament, the monarch’s discretion is limited by constitutional conventions that have developed over time. o Normally the PM’s request that Parliament be dissolved and a new election held will be granted automatically. In circumstances of minority government the monarch’s representative could refuse such a request and instead ask the leader of another party to try to form a government. The last time this happened was in 1926, when GG Lord Byng refused PM WMK’s request for a new election. This refusal provoked a minor constitutional crisis. Since then, the view of most constitutional expert has been that the monarch’s representative is required to accept the advice given by PM. o Monarch and GG play no significant role in setting the gov’s policy agenda or in the subsequent decision- making process. o Royal assent to legislation is automatic; never been withheld. o Lieutenant governor= monarch’s provincial representatives o The ceremonial duties that are part of government must be performed by someone, and it may be that assigning them to a head of state who is above the partisan fray reduces the possibility of too close an association between the political system-the state- and the leadership of particular political factions within it.
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