Limitations of the Canadian Prime Minister

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Canada’s parliamentary system is designed to preclude the formation of absolute power. Critics and followers of Canadian politics argue that the Prime Minister of Canada stands alone from the rest of the government. The powers vested in the prime minister, along with the persistent media attention given to the position, reinforce the Prime Minister of Canada’s superior role both in the House of Commons and in the public. The result has led to concerns regarding the power of the prime minister. Hugh Mellon argues that the prime minister of Canada is indeed too powerful. Mellon refers to the prime minister’s control over Canada a prime-ministerial government, where the prime minister encounters few constraints on the usage of his powers. Contrary to Mellon’s view, Paul Barker disagrees with the idea of a prime-ministerial government in Canada. Both perspectives bring up solid points, but the idea of a prime-ministerial government leading to too much power in the hands of the prime minister is an exaggeration. Canada is a country that is too large and complex to be dominated by a single individual. The reality is, the Prime Minister of Canada has limitations from several venues. The Canadian Prime Minister is restricted internally by his other ministers, externally by the other levels of government, the media and globalization.

In Mellon’s article, several aspects are mentioned supporting the belief that the prime minister is too powerful. One significant tool the prime minister possesses is “… the power to make a multitude of senior governmental and public service appointments both at home and abroad,” (Mellon 164). Mellon goes on to state the significance the prime minister has when allowed to appoint the government’s key member...

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...n of their cabinet, while others may choose to create a new political path without consulting the views of their party. Mellon thinks that the Canadian government is under dictatorial scrutiny, whereas Barker contradicts this belief. The idea of a prime-ministerial government is certainly an over exaggeration of the current state of Canada. There are too many outside and inside forces that can control the powers the Prime Minister of Canada. Furthermore, there are several outside sources that indicate a good government in Canada. The United Nations annually places Canada at the top, or near the top of the list of the world’s best countries in which to live. These outcomes are not consistent with the idea of a one ruler power. Canada is not ruled by one person’s ideas, suggestions, and decisions, but by government approved and provincially manipulated decisions.
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