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POLS 2910 F/W 2013-2014 - Final Exam Review (Part B)

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York University
Political Science
POLS 2910
Dennis Pilon

POLS 2910FallWinter Term 20132014 FINAL EXAM REVIEW Part B Potential Essay QuestionsEssay OutlinesInclude intro thesis main arguments supporting examples and conclusionEssay 1 What political factors have contributed to Canadian federalism becoming either more centralized or more decentralized at different times over the past centuryIntro Federalism is a system of government characterized by two levels of authority provincial and federal is known as federalism This division of powers constitutes that neither levels of power are subordinate to the otherFederalism has always played a large role in Canadian government as a key role in constitutional order The divide between national and provincial government remains a struggle with a number of obstacles Provincial premiers and Prime ministers have always had a number of issues where provincial representatives often find that the federal government neglects many crucial issues that exist Because Canadas constitution gives the nation two levels of government and highlights the responsibilities of each level it is a question of why these issues are present There are a number of challenges and difficulties within Canadas federal system This debate has never been settled there have been a number of pressures to keep a decentralized system as well as a number of forces that wanted to maintain federal an ongoing struggle Thesis This essay will outline the multiple political factors and pressures that have contributed to Canadian federalism in becoming both centralized and decentralized through different times Pressures of centralization will focus on a number of economic and resource inadequacy in provinces in situations such as nation building the need for a welfare state as well as the potential freerider problem The pressures in decentralization will refer to political aspects such as regionalism and geography the wants of provincial powers as well as the voting system Paragraph One Pressures of Centralization Focused on Economic Setbacks lack of resourcesNation Buildingneed federal resources and money building an industry give example of infrastructure such as railways Weakness of provincial financesthe need of a welfare state example of need of services such as health care Provinces lacked the funds to do soFree rider problemseparate provinces paying for citizens of other provinces using their benefits Paragraph Two Pressure of Decentralization Focused on Political AspectsGeographyDecentralized power is more effective in a large geographical area for the interest of citizens in that area RegionalismTie in Geography with regionalism needs of different people in different regions Provincial PowersProvincial governments have a different interest of their provinces that the federal govt not willing to give up their power Use example of Quebec Party SystemEmergence of regional parties and if they were to be elected a centralized government would be rejectedLecture NotesPressure for Centralization in CanadaNation Building Example infrastructure such as railwaysbuilding railways would require the power of the federal government Federal control over internal trade allowed for strong links across the country and prevented provincial government from putting barriers in the way of trade Control of international tradePressure for centralization depended on what you were trying to accomplish When it was felt that Canada needed to build its own industry which meant we needed a strong tariff and only the federal government could help us succeed in that Economic Decline which exposed the weakness of provincial finances We can better address political demands for action with national programs Centralization alleviated provinces of the burden of social provisionWar If you want to fight a war you need a strong central governmentOr demands for a welfare state As Canadians thought they should have hospital programs and health care Even those these are areas of provincial jurisdiction the provinces did not have the funds to carry them out Thus this moved Canadian voters towards parties that said they were going to strengthen federal power and improve Canadas welfare stateFederal organization of social programs also tends to avoid the freerider problem If one province has specific regulations ie a new healthcare program people will move to that province and benefit from that provinces services So the argument of having a national approach was to prevent free riding so everyone was paying their fair share The twoparty system contributed to centralizing pressures Whereas regional parties contributed to decentralizing pressures A strong twoparty system could knit together different regions of the country and provide leadership
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