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Lecture 6

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 2300
Tamara Small

POLS 2300: Canadian Government and Politics The Public Service – October 17 , 2012 - The permanent executive is there to administer the state and assist with governing Bureaucracy - Form of government organization based on the premise it should be as efficient as possible and that this is best achieved by setting up a hierarchically structured decision making process which minimizes arbitrary decision-making o Public bureaucracy – Canadian Public Service o Create rules and apply them impersonally o Bureaucracy should be separate from the political executive o Expert, permanent, non partisan (no relation to political masters), professional, there to advice and implement policies the government makes Public Sector Employment - one of the largest employers in Canada Roles of the Public Bureaucracy - Advice the political executive - Administer the laws and policies enacted by the assembly Politics-Administration Dichotomy - Separation between politics and administration where politicians make the decisions which are implemented by civil servants - The should be giving advice to the government that is the best advice they could give whether or not it is consistent with the governments ideology - In order to serve political masters correctly you need to fully understand the political agenda - The governments agenda shapes how the public service operates - Not all parts of the public service are a-political Key Principle’s of the Public Service - Meritocracy (vs. Spoils system) o The idea that people should get things due to their qualification o Public Service Exams o Spoils System – fill bureaucracy through favoritism, political executive fills their bureaucracy with their supporters, patronage, confidence, based on the idea that the political executive cant control the bureaucracy unless they have like minded people working their - Seniority of Tenure o The idea that you cannot be fired for arbitrary reasons o Benefit for people to be around for a long time – expertise - Political Neutrality o The idea that the bureaucracy as a whole is a neutral system (a-political) o The idea that the public service works for whoever is in charge (conservative, liberal) o Public service doesn’t support one party over another party - Anonymity (individual ministerial responsibility) o Individual ministerial responsibility – the idea that a minister of a department is the public face of that department, they are responsible to the house for all the decisions made by the department o Relationship between the obscurity of the public servants and the minister, public servants don’t get involved in political fights, even if it is their fault, they blame the minster - Representative Bureaucracy – Canadian principle o The idea that the public service in Canada should represent the demographic composition of Canada o Public service mirrors Canadian society – represents language, women, aboriginals, Sec 15 protects policy of affirmative action Executive Institutions - Executive Department o Ones are headed by Cabinet minsters o Cabinet minister has the responsibility to parliament, don’t have day to day control over staffing or finances of the department - Semi-Independent Public Agency - Alternative Service Delivery o The idea that public services should be as efficient as possible, they should be business like, provide flexibility for consumers o Way of delivering government services, to make governing more efficient o Moving some things outside of the traditional bureaucratic model to make
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