Class Notes (835,929)
Canada (509,507)
POL2101 (222)
Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - The Bureaucracy

5 Pages
Unlock Document

Political Science
Luc Turgeon

Feb. 12, 2014 The Bureaucracy Key Terms o Bureaucracy o Principal/agent principle o New Public Management Popular Vision of the Bureaucracy • The Ministry of Silly Walks (YouTube) • Seen as overpaid, lazy, useless, and silly Bureaucracy defined • “Rules by offices” • Aformal organization marked by a clear hierarchy of authority, the existence of written rules of procedure, staged by full-time salaried officials, and striving for the efficient attainment of organization goals • Bureaucrats are:  Public servants who execute the will of the people’s elected representatives  …but significant controversy (stay tuned) Reminder • Executive – PM & Cabinet  Develops and sets the policy agenda • Legislature (House of Commons & Senate)  Legitimates the proposals of the Executive • Bureaucracy  Advises the executive and implements the decisions of Parliament Foundation and Evolution of the Bureaucracy • Originally based on patronage  Appointments based on connections rather than abilities • Modern bureaucracy (Weber)  Legal appointment (based on performance on exams)  Clear decision-making rule  Compensation by salary not spoils  Life-long career • Associated with the “merit principle”  Introduced in Canada in 1918 o Who decides what is considered “merit” is not totally objective Bureaucracy in Canada • Include: Government departments, Crown corporations (CBC, Canada Post, and administrative tribunals • Ministers at the apex, but Deputy Minister is the more “permanent” head of the department  Role is in theory to provide advice to the Minister and manage daily operations  Helped by a number ofADMs responsible for policy development, human resources, communication • Evolution over time  1918: 5,000 employees  2012: 380,000 employees Representative Bureaucracy • Historical under-representation of women, Francophones, aboriginals, and ethnic minorities • Important reform  Bilingualism requirement  Employment equity • Representation today  Still under-representation of ethnic minorities  Aboriginals have limited representation at the upper echelons  Important variations at times Controversy I: Principal/agent relationship • Who rules whom? • In theory, bureaucrats are obliged to follow directions from the political masters as opposed to setting policy independently • Problem: Compatibility of efficiency and oversight?  Girth and complexity of government programs have grown  Information asymmetries exist between bureaucrats and officials. “Knowledge is power”  Bureaucrats have considerable prerogative in implementing policies, which can be used to subvert government direction Implications for Democracy • Max Weber: concerned that powerful bureaucracy will eventually dominate the government of modern societies and limit the applicability of the demo
More Less

Related notes for POL2101

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.