Canada: Political Careers between Executive Hopes and Constituency Work

David C. Docherty

in The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199260362
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601873 | DOI:
 Canada: Political Careers between Executive Hopes and Constituency Work

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Members of the Canadian Parliament today are well-paid political professionals. Still, the most attractive goal of a national political career in Canada is a seat at the cabinet table, because only here members can influence public policy, assure their reelection, and control the parliamentary party. However, as the opportunity to serve in national cabinet is limited, most members of the Canadian political class spend their careers engaged in constituency service or remain at the provincial level. Reform efforts have for the most part been focussed on increasing MPs' input into policy making and greater freedom of voting, but the backbenchers have been reticent to challenge the general executive-centred nature of Canada's parliamentary system.

Keywords: cabinet; Canada; confidence in Westminster systems; constituency service; legislative reform; party discipline; political class; provincial careers

Chapter.  8130 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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