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Lecture 11

POLB50 Lecture 11.doc

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Political Science
Course Code
Christopher Cochrane

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POLB50 Lecture 11 November-22-12 3:09 PM Cue Column: Note-Taking Area: The Policy Process (Guest lecturer: Erin Crandall) • Becomes important when our needs change • Actors getting to participate: ○ Who makes decisions, who gets excluded, who's accountable • Policy process --> for safety • How intrusive should it be/how much freedom should citizens get • Objectives ○ Examine policy process in Canada • What is public policy ○ Course of action/inaction chosen by public authorities to address given problem/interrelated set of problems (Dyck) ○ 3 key problems  Definition of problem  Goals to be achieved  Means to address problem & achieve goals ○ Difference of opinions can be a problem • 3 elements of Public Policy (using sodium) ○ Problem: We as Canadians consume too much sodium ○ Goal: reduce sodium intake  Comes from processed foods □ It will concern food manufacturers; will be most affected ○ How goal should be achieved:  Regulate salt content in processed foods OR  Public awareness and education activities • Canadian Policymaking Processing ○ Check figure 20.2 in textbook ○ 6 phases  Initiation □ Gov't bombarded with policy demands □ Not every issue will gain gov't importance □ Decides demand becomes issue  Priority setting □ Decide what to do; what takes priority □ If to pursue particular policy, use policy instrument  Policy instruments: technique/tools chosen to implement decisions  Policy formulation □ If approved, sent to bureaucracy to formulate policy □ Depending on how technical it is, might take time □ For some policies, it is where it begins or ends  Legitimation □ How bill becomes law  3 readings  If party discipline, bill will pass  Standing committees can make minor adjustments  Implementation □ If implemented, law will be effective □ Up to public service  Interpretation □ Courts have more influence over public policy ○ Doesn't have to have all 6  PM can decide and implement • Political Executive & Policy Making ○ Concentration of political power in cabinet and PM facilitates efficient policymaking ○ Doing right thing may not be popular thing ○ Advantage: politically divisive, but effective policy can be implemented  Ex. Immigration reforms (1960s)  Can push through politically unpopular policy • Insite (2011) ○ In Vancouver, Insite is first gov't-sanctioned safe injection site in N.A. ○ Where drug users can use drugs safely; clean needles, supervised ○ Insite needed federal exemption ○ Minister of Health indicated no renewal in 2008; would close --> legal challenge POLB50 Page 1 supervised ○ Insite needed federal exemption ○ Minister of Health indicated no renewal in 2008; would close --> legal challenge  Sec.7 Life, liberty, and security □ Would put users at risk ○ Insite saves lives; provides safe space for drug users ○ Minister's failure to act  Failure to grant exemption was found inconsistent with Charter  Failure to act on public policy • Bureaucrats must make sure policies are in accordance with Charter • Closing Remarks ○ No standard policy process  Different issues attract different stakeholders  Follow different policy paths  Implemented using different policy instruments ○ Key factors:  Bureaucracy plays significant role in □ Initiation □ Formulation □ Implementation  Cabinet has major control in setting priorities
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