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POL305Y1 (56)
Lecture 6

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Rachael Gibson

July 23/12 Continued from last week: Addressing the Municipal fiscal Gap Where do we go from here? - New sources of revenue - Increased transfers from fed and provincial - Making better use of existing revenue New Municipal Revenue Resources: - Income tax, sales tax - other taxes at the municipal level - Can’t relate to other levels of government - can’t re-tax people twice - Set own tax rates? - Variation of local levels will result in consumers crossing jurisdictions to avoid the tax - Piggy back on federal and provincial tax programs - receive a share from them - Ex. Federal Gas tax program - Not a new source but more like an unconditional grant - Municipals are vulnerable to such programs Addressing Fiscal Challenges err the Local level New Taxing powers for Canadian Cities - The City of Toronto Act, January 2007 - Introduce new taxes - Montreal gained some power on 2008 - Not effective because isn’t used Lecture 6 Urban Citizenship - The Scope of Citizenship - Restriction on gender, immigrants without national citizenship status, people younger than 18 - Robust forms would redress these limitations - The Opportunities, Responsibilities and Activities of Citizenship - Proactive active participation - Ex. Keeping informed, being in electoral process, social movements, calling council member - Robust forms of citizenship are possible in national scale but easier in urban environments - Cities are more hands on and direct opportunities - Public education takes place in cities - Urban municipalities are deepening robust forms of citizenship - Eligibility - easier to enlarge citizenship in a city rather than a nation, such as lowering voting age Importance of Citizen Participation - Active participation is essential to democracy - Citizen input enhances policy making - Municipal government strengthens provincial and federal government for comity support - When public disengaged than local government isn’t working - Local autonomy more successful when there is popular support - Local governments need to encourage participation Voting Behavior and Municipal Elections - Voter turnouts are low and varies across provinces and municipalities - Ex. New Brunswick: 48% (2008), Ontario: 53.2% (2010) - Average voter turnout doesn’t measure across provinces - *Essay: more people, less voter turnout (ex. BC) What Explains the Variation in Municipal Voter Turnout Rates? - Number do people living within the municipality - Smaller municipals have higher turnout rates than larger ones - Type of electoral system - Municipalities with ward systems have higher turnout than those with “at large” systems - Demographic variables - Higher voter turnout with large educated residents - Specifics of the local election - Number of candidates affects voter turnouts Less Direct Factors: - Urban development patterns - Long commuters leave people less time about local governments - Undermines social capitulate - social capital, networks - mutual benefits within a community - Structure of local government - Municipal decisions seem irrelevance because key points are addressed through separate boards Representative of Local Council - Recently, counselors were part-time and still are but some are full time - Councilors from business, education, public service or community organizations - Middle class, middle aged, white and male - Government bodies should mirror society to be really representative of all Gender Representation - Women should have 50% on council because there is 50% women in population - More women in cities than in provincial and federal - Still low - 21-24% - Varies across provinces and municipalities - Toronto, 34% of city councilors are women Reasons who women hold more seats at the municipal level - Family responsibilities restrict women from traveling - Municipal more interesting issues - connected through local community through participation - Women more successful in smaller municipalities - Efforts to increase women - FCM campaign - Getting to 30% program - Reach 30% by 2026 - Mentoring and campaigns - 40% of participants are now elected in municipal governments - Inducible campaign efforts by province - Ex. Women in Local Government Project, Nova Sc
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