Westminster Model Of Increasing Prime Ministerial Power
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The government of Canada has been built around the foundation of “The Westminster Model” of parliament, which over time has evolved into what we associate with our democratic framework. Nevertheless, as this system has evolved, so too have the powers of the Prime Minister specifically in Canada. Although these increases in power have allowed decisions to be made expeditiously I will argue in opposition of the Prime Minister’s power as it detracts from true democratic representation within cabinet and parliament.
In order to form my argument I will outline why the Westminster Model plays a key role as the catalyst for the increased Prime Ministerial power we see today. This system was adopted early on in with our ties to the British Commonwealth…show more content… The Governor General was now really a figurative Head of State who through constitutional conventions rarely says no to the Prime Minister. Essentially, once a Prime Minister is appointed based the popular vote, it seems this is where much of the democratic process ends for constituents. The Prime Minister at this point has the ability control almost every facet of government, even more so with a majority vote. To paraphrase a Windsor Star article it was suggested that in a majority government, Canada could be seen as having an “elected dictator” based on the amount of executive and legislative powers the Prime Minister…show more content… This ability totally discredits much of the democratic process and how ordinary citizens understand government to function. A Prime Minister may have his own ideologies and agendas that are put forth and made laws with little recourse but debate in the House of Commons. Based on my readings for this argument, I have also come to the realization that these debates during question period are little more than a media show for the public and pay lip service to decisions that have already been made by the Prime Minister. As we would think cabinet ministers and the house of commons had a larger role to play in these decisions, it is not the case. The Prime Ministers Office (PMO), again made of appointed personnel is fundamentally the Prime Minister’s think tank and advisors. So as we can see decisions are generally already made without party input. Their only requirement is to vote in agreement, “tow the party line”, whether they actually do agree or not. To go against the Prime Minister could end up in career suicide for that party