However, what is not often talked about is reform of the executive branch: the Cabinet and the Prime Minister. Most people know that in recent years, the Prime Minister's office has been growing in power; so much, in fact, that somebody wrote a book calling Canada a "Friendly Dictatorship". Another common complaint is that regular MPs don't really have that much power. Maybe if one's wants democratic change in Canada, they should have a look at the executive branch.
For interest sake, I'm going to throw out three proposals for executive reform.
- Cabinet Elected By Governing Party MP's
This is the most common proposal for executive reform that I hear. In this proposal, instead of the Prime Minister electing a Cabinet, the Prime Minister tells the caucus of the governing party how many Ministers he/she wants and then the members of caucus elect MP's to fills those positions.
- Multipartisan Proportional Cabinet
Right now, Cabinets tend to be all members of the governing party, arguably only limiting the Cabinet's view to only one set of ideas. Maybe instead Cabinet should be multipartisan, with the percentage of seats that a single party receive in the cabinet being equal to the percentage of seats that that party has in the House of Commons; in fact, current House Committees operate in this way. Such a system might result in a more deliberative, cooperative government.
- Direct Election of Cabinet
In this proposal, there is an election, like always. After that election is another election, this time for electing members of cabinet. Only current MPs could run for cabinet. As well, cabinet elections should be tightly regulated, with relatively small campaign finance limits and mandated equal media exposure time during the election. Such a system could be arguably the form of cabinet most responsive to the people.