This is a book about who is the prime minister of Canada. Politically, he or she is a member of Parliament and leader of the Government of Canada. In the past, the occupant of this position has been described as “first among equals” in relation to the Cabinet he leads, but in practice the PM is, by far, the most powerful figure in Canadian politics.
This is despite the fact that the primer minister has no formal constitutional power. As the late political scientist and McGill University Professor J.R. Mallory noted “The office of prime minister, the most important single office in the government, is, while not unknown to the law, entirely lacking in a legal definition of its powers.”
Unlike the President of the United States, whose powers are specifically spelled out in that country’s constitution, the prime minister has no clearly defined constitutional authority. And yet the PM has enormous control over the government of Canada. He appoints and direct the Cabinet, which is at the heart of the executive branch, leads the direction of the government in the House of Commons, and outside of it, and appoints justices to the court system, including the Supreme Court, part of the judicial branch.
The PM also effectively appoints the governor general, senators, heads of the military, deputy ministers, and ambassadors. He is also the country’s leader in its foreign relations. Now that is a lot of responsibility for one person, isn’t it?
But how well do we know our prime ministers? How well do we really understand the nature of his job?
Most Canadians really don’t understand much of what the PM does. This book is important therefore to dispel all the mysteries of being prime minister.
It is an inclusive book, and it is easy to understand. It is a book that we all should read as Canadians.