One of the nation’s largest daily papers, The Toronto Star, ” in a series of articles and columns published between June 20 and 27 argues that Canada’s national government has become a “sham-ocracy.” At the core of the series of problems identified is the excessive concentration of power in the hands of the Prime Minister. “Mostly for convenience, prime ministers since Pierre Trudeau have taken for themselves power that belongs, in the most profound sense, to the people. … As the prolific writer and astute public affairs analyst Donald Savoie observes, prime ministers, once safely installed, have most of the powers commoners spent hundreds of years stripping from monarchs. Surrounded by whispering courtiers and fawning supplicants, they rule beyond Parliament’s reach and oversight. Incrementally, they have turned servant into master and democracy on its head,” (James Travers, Toronto Star, June 27). Remember that power is “best understood in terms of command and control. It is either the capacity to make others do as you wish (the command function) or to reorder the environment around you (the control function),” (Jon Meacham, Newsweek, Jan. 5, 2009). ( Generally, see Stanbury, The Hill Times, May 18, 2009, p.14).
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