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"They think a prime minister has much power. He doesn't even have influence." -- Mackenzie King, 1950
The prime minister is alone at the apex of power in Canada. As Arthur Meighen said, "The powers of the Prime Minister are very great. The functions of and duties of a Prime Minister in Parliament are...supreme in their importance." However, there are limits on the prime minister's power, a reality that is not always reflected in public perceptions. It is only by examining the prime minister's place within our parliamentary system, and the constitutional traditions which have shaped it, that we can come to an understanding of political leadership in Canada.