Canadian Politics: Prime Minister and Supreme Court justices
The text of your essay should be no longer than 3,000 words. The foot- or endnotes and bibliography do not count as part of this word total.
The essay must conform to the following format:
? Title Page ? the title page must include: your name and student number; the title of your essay; date of submission; & the course number (POL 214). No pictures or graphics please.
? Table of Contents ? NOT necessary
? Body of the Essay ? Pages should be numbered. Do not use Roman numerals. Page one is the first page of your essay, not the title page.
? Bibliography ? Your bibliography is the last page(s). Sources are listed alphabetically, using the surname of the authors. Internet sources should also be clearly cited.
Writing Your Essay
Remember, writing an essay in academic political science is NOT an exercise in polemics, or writing a newspaper-style op-ed article. A solid, scholarly political science essay should include the following:
? proper grammar, spelling, and coherent paragraphs;
? a developed argument or thesis, which proceeds logically from one point to the next
? the skilful deployment of the empirical evidence, to support your argument;
? proper use of the relevant concepts, terms and buzzwords;
? recognition that there are always opposing points of view on every issue, which need to be addressed; and
? use of a standard form of documentation for foot- or endnotes, and bibliography
The federal government appoints the justices of the Supreme Court of Canada. Traditionally, this power of appointment is one commonly cited indicator of prime ministerial power, since under responsible government, the PM ?advises? the Governor General on appointments to the Court. This is one of the differences between the Canadian and American systems of government: in the US, the President shares the power to appoint the members of the US Supreme Court with the Senate. In recent years, a debate has emerged about reforming the process for selecting our Supreme Court justices. The Mulroney government?s failed Meech Lake and Charlottetown Accords contemplated a role for provincial input. Both the Martin and Harper governments have experimented with a more open process, including a role for MPs. Why is there a debate for making the appointments process more inclusive and transparent? What is wrong (if anything) with the traditional process? Should Parliament or the provinces be formally involved in the selection of justices? If so, how? Be sure to address the arguments for and against reform.
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