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The Political Class in Advanced DemocraciesA Comparative Handbook$
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Jens Borchert and Jürgen Zeiss

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199260362.001.0001

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Canada: Political Careers between Executive Hopes and Constituency Work

Canada: Political Careers between Executive Hopes and Constituency Work

(p.67) 4 Canada: Political Careers between Executive Hopes and Constituency Work
The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

David C. Docherty

Oxford University Press

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

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