Prime Minister as CEO

… a core concept in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100

Stephen J. Harper, 1959- Prime Minister 2006-2015

Stephen J. Harper, 1959-
Prime Minister 2006-2015

Concept description

Bakvis and Wolinetz (reference below, p. 207) describe the Prime Minister as CEO model of the Prime Minister as one where “the prime minister is chief executive officer (CEO) and where Ministers report to the prime minister, and the only collective role which cabinet plays is advisory.

They suggest that the Prime Minister as CEO is consistent with the presidentialization of a Westminster System (see also Presidentialism).

In Canada, the Prime Ministership of Stephen J. Harper from 6 February 1963 to 4 November 2015 came close to this model.

The contrasting model is Prime Minister as First Among Equals.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

Machinery of Government (core topic) in Governance and Institutions and Atlas100 Governance and Institutions.


Herman Bakvis and Steven B. Wolinetz (2005), “Canada: Executive Dominance and Presidentialization,” in The Presidentialization of Politics: A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies, eds. Thomas Poguntke and Paul Webb, pp. 200-219. Oxford : Oxford University Press.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 23 August 2016.

Image: Wikipedia, Stephen Harper, 22nd Prime Minister of Canada, at, accessed 23 August 2016.