Class Notes (807,938)
Canada (492,936)
POL305Y1 (56)

Lec 7.docx

6 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Rachael Gibson

POL 306 Lec. 7 Prof. Gibson BA1210 Wed. July 25, 2012  Up until this point the readings have largely stuck to the literature in the textbook because until now the course has been about the nuts and bolts of urban governance in Canada o From now on though, the lectures won’t directly correlate with the readings o If a few classes were missed until now, reading the textbook can catch you up o Now it is important to attend regularly though, because the texts and lecs won’t correlate so well Alternative Avenues of Participation  Many diff ways local gov officials can engage citizens b/w elections o How effective are these mechanicsms in terms of providing local residents w/ a meaningful voice in decision-making processes  Informative Mechanisms o Least empowering o Diff ways gov provide info to govt o Ads, newsletters, public meetings, PSAs o Internet websites – mins of local council meetings, strategic plans, annual financial statements o One-way means of communication o But citizens mayuse this info to organize around particular issues and pressure officials o An important force behind organized social movements at local level o 1960s and 70s increase in local group formation, social envtal issues o Emergence of a new “reform” politics at urban level o Citizens for Local Democracy driven by former members of these citizens groups  Consultative Mechanisms o Consulting with the public in a two-way process, opportunities for local citizens to express their views/concerns o Local govs use a variety of consultative mechanisms, incl.  Citizen Advisory Boards  Sponsored Lobby Groups  Plebiscites (non-binding forms of referendums)  Public Inquiries o Allow for provision of info from local officials + feedback from citizens o More effective in integrating public input into decision-making and decreases need for citizens to organize into protest groups o Still, final decisions rest with local officials  Delegative Mechanisms o When municipalities delegate decision-making authority to citizens o Incl.  Referendums (exercises where public is asked to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on a specific issue  Citizens’ Assemblies  Participatory Budgets – (Guelph)  Initiatives  Localized Government o Arguments for Referendums  True form of direct democracy  Decisions are more legitimate in the eyes of citizens because they reflect public will  Provide direct links b/w citizens and their govt  Leading up to referendums, citizens often become more engaged politically and more involved in their community  Can stimulate “urban citizenship” and lasting patterns of participation o Arguments against Referendums  “tyranny of the masses” argument  Can be manipulated by small groups of ppl w/ political, info, or ecoic resources (who chooses which issues merit ra referendum? Who crafts the wording of the Q?)  Representative Democracy – average citizens might not have time, interest, civic education to make informed decisions  Needs to be part of broader initiatives for change incl. a commitment to openness, consultation, public participation o Initiatives  Citizen-initiated referendums  In some provinces, results not always binding o Localized Government  When local groups permitted to make binding decisions over particular geographic areas in a municipality  E.g. Winnipeg Unicity, after 1972 amalgamation  Creation of 13 community committees to provide a forum for public involvement and political decentralization  Charged with making recommendations to council on planning issues, development, etc.  Resident Advisory Groups elected to advise the committees  Committees actually had little authority, no taxing powers  Abolished 1992  Informal Routes to Participation o Participation in local politics can also take place through cultural, volunteer, or leisure- oriented associations o As well as various forms of activism, social movements, and the mass media Not in textbook… A “New Deal for Cities” Movement  What is the “New Deal” for cities? o Used to describe new relationships among municips and upper levels of govt o Sical, pol’l, legal, and even constitutional relatiobships o Have taken many forms, with purposes and outcomes varyig from one city to the next o So, the New Deal concept is complex and ambiguous  Historical Evolution o Driven by a variety of ecoic pol’l and social forces which have put urban affairs back on the national policy agenda st o 1 set of causal factors  Ecoic glob’n, increased urbanization, changing patters of immig and ethno-cult diversity o 2nd  Changes in intergovtal sys, recent trends in Canadian fiscal federalism rd o 3  Relate to New Deal movement itself –momentum created thru  Note various pol’l and spatial scales at which these forces originate o International o National and regional o Local or municipal  Global Forces o Ecoic glob’n and recent trends in urban’n and immig fundamentally transformed role of cities in Canada o Cities have become areas of strategic importance in new knowledge-based economy – access to knowledge, creativity, techno’l innovation o Cities are places where globn’s 3 most powerful flows intersect – people, ideas, capital (Gertler 2001)  Changes in Canadian Federalism: The Role of National and Regional Politics o 1990s watershed in evo’n of Canadian fiscal fedism o Debt and deficit reduction initiatives o Local service realignment or “disentaglement” led to “downloading” o Municipal restructuring, provincially imposed amalgamation projects  New Deal Strategies: Bottom-Up Momentum o Momentum of urban autonomy movement created thru strategies of local actors o These strategies incl.  Image building  Coalition building  Education  Development of new policy fields o Image building  Resilience of “creatures of the provinces” interpretation despite changes to
More Less

Related notes for POL305Y1

Log In


Don't have an account?

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.