Political Science 2246E Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Natural Monopoly, Unfair Competition

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Balance of Federalism
Federalism and the economic environment
- The economy and organizational structure
- Political equality and rights
o A formal parliamentary democracy
o Political system and state legitimacy linked with the fundamental equality of all citizens
- Economy is a liberal capitalists system
- Liberalism is primarily concerned with the economic rights of individuals
- Based on the private ownership of property and the means of production
Responsible government
- Legislature, executive and the departments
- Cabinet members (ministers) and PM (the political executive) are responsible to the legislature
for the operation of government departments
Federal Governance: The department
- Administrative unit under direct ministerial control and management based on constitutional
- Doern: Classify departments based on:
o Relative powers according to size of budget
o Responsibility for coordination
o Knowledge’s or research capacity
o Three types
Horizontal political coordination (central agencies plus Foreign Affairs, and
international trade and justice)
Vertical constituency
Horizontal administrative coordination
Horizontal Policy Coordinative
- 6. Central agencies
o Finance
o Treasury board
o Privy council office
o Prime Minister’s office
o Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Justice
o Politically influential though small in numbers and budget yet strong in responsibility for
coordination and research
Vertical Constituency
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- Direct service providers
- Often high profile
- With large budgets and large constituencies
- But they usually can’t intervene in the affairs of other departments
- Due to the large constituencies the central agencies often have difficulty intervening
Horizontal administrative Coordinative
- Least influential
- Potentially problematic
o I.e. Tax collection problems of the National Revenue department; purchasing policy of
public works/government services
- Public works and government service Canada
The Legislature and Control
- Created by legislation
- An act of parliament gives initial control over the departments and agencies
- This tends to be broad and ambiguous (eg. Veterans Affairs
- Secondary legislation may also influence (eg. The Financial Administration Act, the Public Service
Employment Act)
Legislative ‘control’
- Annual budget approval enables Parliament to exert some control and influence
- Parliamentary committees have some ability to force change (eg. C-68- 1994)
- Daily constituent problems represent most of the impact that backbench MPs can have
- Public opinion
- Doctrine of individual ministerial responsibility means that ministers still are responsible and can
be held accountable
Ministerial Authority
- Minister has line authority over all public servants in the department
- He/she is assisted by a small staff of political assistants (often functioning as gate keepers)
- Ministers can issue internal , department regulations
- Cabinets can make regulations consistent with legislation through orders in council
Varying numbers, organizations
- As many as 40 federal departments plus other agencies and crown corporations
- A formidable ‘span of control’ problem
- Canadian federal governments are expected to have representative cabinet based in part on
geography, ethnicity, religious, linguistic, gender and other criteria
- Large cabinet is required to represent everyone
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