The Functions of the Executive Branch of Government in the United States and Canada
There is a set of functions executives in Canada and the USA exercise. The first function is the role of symbol and ceremony, which is an important element in both countries:
“In Canada, the pomp and circumstance surrounding the formal delivery of the Speech from the Throne rival the regal splendor of British imperial majesty. The appearance of the president of the United States…has the magnificence of a Hollywood spectacular.”
Secondly, the function of an executive is one of the commanders-in-chief of military forces in the country; they possess nuclear weapons and make strategic decisions in times of warfare. Then, making policy is a chief function of an executive; here Canada and the USA differ substantially. In the USA the President possesses this power through press conferences, statements, and speeches in parliament. However, the Queen is too distant to influence policymaking in Canada, so here it is the prime function of the Parliament and the Cabinet.
Controlling the bureaucrats is one more function of executives; in the USA political system, bureaucracy is an integral mechanism in which executive and legislative branches intertwine, so there is a separate institution in the USA Presidency that controls the bureaucratic machine separately from Congress. In Canada, federal bureaucrats are under the direct supervision of the Cabinet. Here is the main difference between the USA and Canada: the latter has a fusion of executive and legislative functions, while the former has separate administrations operating separately.
Judging from this analysis, it is possible to say that both USA and Canadian executives have a vast majority of powers, though their authority differs across aspects. Thus, the Canadian bureaucracy has more powers because the legislative and executive branches are fused in Canada. The USA President has much more authority than the Canadian Prime Minister because of the different types of political systems the countries have. At the same time, the armed forces are under Presidential control in the USA but under civilian control in Canada. There are many other issues that distinguish the executives of Canada and the USA, so it is possible only to suggest that the USA executive has more power due to the presidential democracy.