Category Archives: Responsible Government

The Nature of the “Democratic Deficit” and Executive Federalism in Canada


Introduction The “Democratic Deficit” first referred to a critique from the late 1970s on how the European Economic Community ran its Parliament vis-a-vis its executive-like Commission. Canadian scholars took up the term in the 1980s and applied it here. In … Continue reading

Posted in Parliamentarism v Presidentialism, Responsible Government | 1 Comment

A New Year’s Resolution for Political Scientists: Stop Saying That Parliamentarism “Fuses” The Executive and Legislature


Introduction: A Lazy and Stupid Metaphor  Political scientists like taking shortcuts and writing in shorthand. But sometimes, these cause them to get hopelessly lost rather than shortening their journey toward fact and truth. For instance, too many political scientists of … Continue reading

Posted in Reaffirmation of, Responsible Government | 4 Comments

The Strange Americanism of Canadian Libertarians


Introduction  Since 2011 when I attended one of the Institute for Liberal Studies’ Liberty Summer Seminars (LSS), I’ve noticed that Canadian libertarians often demonstrate a strange American streak, and that their understanding of constitutions and systems of government are steeped … Continue reading

Posted in Monarchism v Republicanism, Parliamentarism v Presidentialism, Responsible Government | 3 Comments

Harjit Sajjan and the Architecture of Ministerial Responsibility


Introduction A controversy has erupted around Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and a retired Lieutenant-Colonel in the Canadian Army who served three tours of duty in Afghanistan, over remarks that he made in a speech to the Observer Research … Continue reading

Posted in Responsible Government | 2 Comments

Why The Finance Minister Is the Most Important After the Prime Minister


  Introduction If you asked Canadians, Britons, or Australians which minister is the most important after the prime minister, you would almost invariably get the same answer: the Finance Minister — known as the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the … Continue reading

Posted in Parliamentarism v Presidentialism, Responsible Government | 3 Comments