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POL2101 (222)
Lecture 12

Lecture 12 - Federalism II

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Political Science
Luc Turgeon

Feb. 28, 2014 Federalism I & II (continued…) Competitive Federalism (and Constitutional Federalism) (1965-1995)  Province vs. nation-building  Soured by the Quiet Revolution and the creation of the Parti Quebecois  Trudeau’s belief that the balance had gone too far toward provinces  Lead to two referendums and two failed constitutional attempts Federal-Provincial Diplomacy  Richard Simeon’s metaphor of intergovernmental relations in Canada o Rather than having all head of states, we have provincial premiers  Related to the absence of intra-state federalism and… o No institutions for negotiations  …the competitive dynamic inherent in Canadian federalism • Ideological diversity – regional/provincial ideological views o Based on region. Might create tension. • Differences in provincial economies • Lack of party integration • Electoral imperative to gain credit and avoid blame o Depending on area of jurisdiction, blame the other government Ex: healthcare – originally 50-50 program Federal gov. reduced its share of transfer to provinces (20%) -Fed: provincial governments decide how to spend their money -Prov: federal government cut spending Executive Federalism  Associated with Donald Smiley  Definition: Executives at both levels have considerable latitude to strike bargains on behalf of government without input from legislatures.  Result of parliamentary government and lack of intra-state federalism o Power in both the provincial and federal government  Benefits and advantages o Contributes to under secrecy o Creates a low level of participation o Weakens and dilutes accountability of government to legislatures o Distorts political agenda o Perpetuates intergovernmental conflict (counterproductive) Benefits: o Facilitated high level of flexibility and ability to respond to challenges o Allows the move beyond the fray of politics (not just partisan politics) -intrastate federalism perpetuates parties and politics in the U.S. Collaborative or Open Federalism (Martin vs. Harper) Martin o Wanted to create a childcare policy for Canada o Not enough money and provinces were weary o Hypothesis of era of cooperative federalism (collaborative federalism – less clear guidelines) Harper o Open-federalism (no conditions on federal transfers) o Return to classical federalism Centralization (strong federal role) and Decentralization (strong provincial role)  Key debates in Canadian politics  Factors • Institutional factors • Cultural factors • Economic factors • Political factors  Comparative perspective is necessary Symmetrical Federalism vs. Asymmetrical Federalism  Should all provinces have identical powers? Can powers vary from one province to another?  Asymmetrical federalism • De jure: legislative powers, representation in central institutions, and rights and obligations that are set in the constitution • De facto: not in the constitution; agreements of national policy (that interfere with provincial jurisdiction), opting out, and bilateral ad hoc deals with specific provinces o Special deals with certain provinces (ex: Quebec)  Arguments in favor and against? o Favor – Allows for a degree of flexibility than takes into consideration the differences in provinces (ex: minorities in Quebec) o Against 1) slippery-slope (the more you give, the more they’re ask) – less loyalty to the national government 2) Westlothian question. Example: Quebec has its own pension plan, fed wants to cut benefits. Can Quebec MPs vote? How do we deal with it? Problematic. Voting on something that won’t affect them. De JureAsymmetry (source D. Milne) Subject of Provision Section Notes ConstitutionAct, 1867 Language and civil law 133 Bilingual legislative regime and civil la
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