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POLI 371 Study Guide - Final Guide: Canadian Federalism, Unemployment Benefits, Japanese Domestic Market

Political Science
Course Code
POLI 371
Christa Scholtz
Study Guide

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Three models of federalism seen throughout Canadian Politics: The dynamics of these three models vary
greatly from one to the other
Classical federalism – Programmes run by one level of government
Unprotected by intergovernmental relations
Shared costs federalism – federal government financially supporting provincial programmes
Enables preservation of the basic model of the health care systems
Joint decision federalism – formal approval by both levels necessary for any action to take place
Protects contributory pensions from radical restructuring
Introduction: article explore two sides of Canadian federalism in relation to welfare state
Divided in 5 sections:
1. Territorial dimensions of Canadian Politics and its federal institutions
2. Impact of federalism on the expansion of welfare state
3. Impact of politics of restructuring during last 25 years
4. Impact of welfare state on federalism in Canada
5. Conclusion: “pulls together the threads of the argument”
Territorial Politics and Canadian Federalism
- Territory matters for social policy:
- helps explain how national political life failed to polarise on class lines, territorial divisions have
“cross cut class based politics” = Politics of equality (center as much on regional inequalities as
class inequalities)
- Regional Divisions create a barrier to a successful nation-wide labour movement. Various other
social movements suffer the same barrier. How come? Power over social policy is divided
between the feds, the provs, and the three territories, making Canada heavily decentralized in the
matter. Why does a prov authority matter at the federal level? An example is a key decision in
1937 (details not given) which saw a federal social insurance program withheld due to its
intrusion on provincial powers.
- Spending Power (while contested) allows for important aspects of the Canadian Welfare State.
For example it allowed for equalisation (federal transfer to poor provinces to guarantee
equal/comparable social services across the nation)
Return to three models of federalism:
Classical Federalism: Programs delivered by feds or provs independently within their own
jurisdictions. Unilateral decisions by both levels. Little effort to coordinate (even when decisions
implicate the other)
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Shared-Cost Federalism: Feds offer financial support to provs on terms set by feds. Feds decide
the when/what/where/how of the program, the provs decide whether or not to accept. In practice:
Joint Decision Federalism: Agreement of both levels needed for any action.
Federalism and the expansion of the welfare state: (various graphs and figures, it may be beneficial to
take a look at them, as they neatly illustrate the points that are driven by the author)
Two Historical Periods:
Decentralised era ( - 1939): Slow start to social policy development
Expansionist era (1940- 1970s): Income security programs and health care develop fast but along
separate paths
Decentralised Welfare and a Slow Start:
- Welfare of the 20th c. is still based on relief organized by municipalities, charities, and the Church
- Why slow start?
Still a largely agricultural country
National politics dominated by conservative interests
Social basis for coalition in favour of welfare is absent
While it is a slow start, it is not complete stagnation. Several welfare initiatives do occur at the provincial
level (e.g. workers comp. in Ontario 1914, Minimum Wage/Mothers Allowance begins 1916 Manitoba)
Semi-Centralized Welfare and Diverging Trajectories
- Post war economic improvement strengthens forces of reform
- 1/3 of non-agricultural labour force unionized by 1950s, Unification of labour movement, both
institutionally and ideologically. Strong economic growth: high tax revenues, adhere to
Keynesian economics (as they have faith in the utility of state action in solving important econ
and social issues)
- Political left is gaining a foothold in Canadian politics, CCF (Later NDP) becomes official
opposition in Ontario). Regional/language tensions are at all time low prior to/during/after the
- also a period during which Canada becomes highly centralized, caused by the war. Feds take
advantage of this, introducing social programs during war years.
- by 1960s this advantage is losing power as provincial resistance grows, resurgence of Quebec
nationalism being a main part of it (Quiet Revolution)
Look at three models of federalism:
Classical federalism and exclusively federal programs:
Income security programs deliver payments to citizens (no provincial role)
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