Choosing a cabinet
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Choosing a Cabinet. Who is eligible to be in cabinet ? Functions of cabinet (majority vs. minority government) Why start with a small cabinet ? Why is finance minister special (e.g. Chretien and Martin, Harper and Flaherty, Blair and Brown)? High-profile mouthpiece and bean-counter

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Choosing a cabinet
Choosing a Cabinet

  • Who is eligible to be in cabinet ?

  • Functions of cabinet (majority vs. minority government)

  • Why start with a small cabinet ?

  • Why is finance minister special (e.g. Chretien and Martin, Harper and Flaherty, Blair and Brown)?

  • High-profile mouthpiece and bean-counter

  • What is the deputy prime minister/premier?

    • e.g. Blakeney and Romanow

Choosing a cabinet1
Choosing a Cabinet

  • Presentation on federal cabinet (Ovi Ahsan, Fahad Jawaid, Karen Ng)

  • Presentation on Ontario cabinet (Jenny Lu, Eleanor Lau, Chris Chung)

Obama cabinet
Obama cabinet

  • Separation of legislative and executive branches

  • State: Hillary Clinton (strongest rival)

  • Defense: Gates (continuity with Bush)

  • Treasury: Geithner (President of NY Federal Reserve)

  • HHS: Daschle (former senior Democratic Senator)

  • Homeland Security: Napolitano (Dem. Governor)

  • Energy: Chu (Nobel prize in Physics)

  • Education: Duncan (supt. of Chicago schools)

  • Interior: Salazar (Colorado Democratic Senator)

  • Labor: Solis (Hispanic woman)

  • Veterans Affairs: Shinseki (former general)

How can a gov t be more than a loose confederation of warring tribes
How can a gov’t be more than “a loose confederation of warring tribes”?

  • The ultimate sanction: prime minister/premier (first minister) can demand a resignation of a minister who will not accept/defend cabinet decisions

  • “the speech”: ministers collectively set policy for government, explain policy to public and to their departments, monitor public reaction

  • Necessity of ministers presenting a common face to the public

  • The deputy minister, not the minister is the department’s CEO; minister should not be too deeply involved in departmental management

Managing cabinet
Managing Cabinet warring tribes”?

  • Meetings: state-of-the-nation, order of speaking, who speaks, first minister’s rhetoric, vote or consensus

  • Role of cabinet secretary

  • Rationale for cabinet committees

  • Federal committees: priorities and planning, operations, Treasury Board, social affairs, economic growth, foreign affairs, environment and energy, Afghanistan

  • Cabinet as cybernetic organization: requisite variety, holographic capacity, seeks feedback

The first minister s office minister s offices
The First Minister’s Office warring tribes”?Minister’s Offices

  • All political appointments, not civil servants, no job security as individuals or as a group

  • Political strategy, i.e. getting re-elected

  • Policy advice and issues management

  • Communications, speechwriting

  • Gatekeeping, timetabling

  • Senior (some patronage) appointments

  • Constituency relations

  • Liaison with public service through Privy Council Office (feds), Cabinet Office (prov)

  • Minister’s offices a micro-version of PMO except for appointments

The senior public service
The Senior Public Service warring tribes”?

  • Role of deputy minister

  • Collective management of government

  • How deputy ministers are chosen

  • Background of deputy ministers

  • Career public service: how other public servants are chosen

  • Political neutrality/sensitivity

  • US contrast: top jobs political appointees

Central agencies
Central Agencies warring tribes”?

  • Privy Council Office (feds), Cabinet Office (prov): secretariat to cabinet and committees, policy analysis, interdepartmental coordination

  • Finance: overall economic policy (aggregate spending, taxation)

  • Treasury Board (feds), Management Board (prov): spending in detail, management issues

  • Public Service Commission: recruitment of public servants, protection of merit system

Managing the transition to a new government
Managing the Transition to a New Government warring tribes”?

  • Election campaign an inter-regnum, no significant decisions being made

  • Public service responsible to any “government of the day”: prepares briefing books on current context, implementation of platform proposals, organizational implications: discreet contact with party leaders and offices

  • PM-designate: choose cabinet, his/her office staff, possibly some senior public servants

Key events in a transition
Key Events in a Transition warring tribes”?

  • Swearing-in of new Government: date agreed between old and new Government (archiving or destruction of old Government’s political files), oaths of office for new Government before Queen’s representative (Governor-General for feds, Lieutenant-Governor in provinces)

  • When to meet the legislature, deliver speech from the throne

  • When to present a new budget

  • When to present new estimates (fiscal year starts April 1)

Next week
Next Week warring tribes”?

  • Reading B&B, chapters 4,10

  • Goldenberg, chapters 6, 8, 21

Student presentations
Student Presentations warring tribes”?

  • Background to the budget: Students to discuss federal government fiscal framework (Mrinal Goswami, Dana Bastaldo, Yoo-ri Chung). Outline revenues (sources), expenditures (areas), surplus or deficit, accumulated debt and debt service. Look at current year and projections. (Finance Canada website, starting with Nov. 27, 2008 economic and fiscal statement)

  • Students to compare the Obama administration website ( and/or with Prime Minister Harper’s website ( in terms of balance between personality and policy, branding and look and feel, opportunities for citizen engagement, social networking, language use, provision for disabilities, privacy policy (Anita Paramalingam, Durka Kumarathasan, Harshida Acharya).

Class of january 27
Class of January 27 warring tribes”?

  • Who is the US ambassador to Canada? Canadian ambassador to the US?

  • State of the Nation – McGuinty government

  • Transition to a new government

  • Student presentation on Obama and Harper websites

  • Accountability

  • Upward delegation

  • Student presentation on fiscal framework

  • Priority setting