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POLS 2300 (129)

2300 chapter notes

74 Pages

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 2300
Ian Spears

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Chapter one What is politics? -Politics arises from the fact of scarcity. In the real world it is not possible for all of us to satisfy all of our desires to the fullest extent limits on things we desire cause conflicts to take place and it is these conflicts that explain why politics comes about Politics- -The activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, esp. the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power -Is the activity by which rival claims are settled by public authorities? -The boundaries of what is considered to be political can be called the public realm, while where it has no or limited authority is called the private realm. -Politics is about the exercise of power -There is disagreement to what power relations count as political ones -Marx, Foucault, and the feminist movement define politics way that would include the relations between bosses and workers in a corporation, between parents and children in a family, between teachers and students in schools, and between spiritual shepherd and flock in a church -The idea that governance is everywhere -Marxism- The political and economic theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, later developed by their followers to form the basis for the theory and practice of communism -Marxism, postmodernism (Foucault), and feminism associate politics with a pervasive pattern of oppression it is about how inequalities are generated and reinforced though the power relations that exist between classes/gender groups in society -The boundary of politics is important to have; political conflict is largely about where exactly this boundary between public and private should be drawn Power Power is the ability to influence what happens. There are three sections social scientist unpack the concept of power into 1. Coercion; Compliance may result from the threat or use of force 2.Influence; from the ability of A to convince B that a particular action is reasonable or otherwise in B’s best interests 3.Authority; from the recognition on the partition issuing a command has the right to do so and should be obeyed. -One of democracies ironies with power is that unlike other political systems it requires that dissenting points of view and opposition to those in power be respected. The protection of law and order may exact a high cost in terms of personal freedoms, these powers must be justified so that they uphold the values of freedom, equality, justice, and the rule of law. However no one will every really agree on specifics of what that means. State and Government The State – is a broad concept that includes government as the seat of legitimate authority in a territory but also includes bureaucracy, judiciary, the armed forces and internal police, structures of legislative assemblies and administration, public corporations regulatory boards and ideological applauses such as education establishment—Leo Pantich State has three mains characteristics 1. Territorial boundaries 2. Complete set of institutions that wield public authority (judges and police) 3. Defined in terms of power, how and for whom the power of the state is exercised. -To answer the questions of whose behalf and in whose interests the state’s authority is exercised. Contemporary political science offers four main answers to these questions 1. Pluralism- the view that in liberal democracies power is (or should be) dispersed among a variety of economic and ideological pressure groups and is not (or should not be) held by a single elite or group of elites. Pluralism assumes that diversity is beneficial to society and that autonomy should be enjoyed by disparate functional or cultural groups within a society, including religious groups, trade unions, professional organizations, and ethnic minorities. -The pluralist model assumes various forms, some of which are society centered and state centered Society centered – emphasize the impact of groups in society on the state State centered- emphasize on the abilities of public officials to act on their own preference and according to their own interests, rather than merely responding to the demands of the voters and interest groups -Competition among groups is not on a level playing field 2.Class analysis- can be seen in capitalist society as an instrument which the small minorities who control most of a societies wealth maintain their social and economic dominance. Rich stay rich poor stay poor essentially. 3.Feminism- society is inherently patriarchal institution, laws and rules are made by men even the ones that support equality so they are always biased and lead to male dominance, some argue that if this discrimination were to be eliminated the sate as we know it would disappear. 4.Postmodernism- views the state as an oppressive and repressive institution. It is eclectic in the forms of oppression that is associates with the sate and public authority. Oppressive groups can consist of groups based on race, or gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference. The problem of state is not simply its relationship to economic power but to forms of oppression and repression more generally Government - a term that has a separate meaning from state, it is usually reserved fir those who have been elected to power. It is a more personal term then the state. Understanding the difference between government and sate is an important distinction in how each compels the obedience of citizens, cooperation’s, and associations that fall within its jurisdiction Legitimacy- is the rules and institutions that encompass the state and determine how governments are chosen. -The question of when citizens may be justified in resisting the law, either passive disobedience of public authority of violence. It is controversial when deciding whether it is justified. Totalitarianism- is a system of government that suppresses all dissent in the name of a supreme goal. “Nazi Germany” is an example of this. Distinctions between the state, government, and society lose all meaning under totalitarianism Cultural Hegemony - a culturally diverse society can be dominated (ruled) by one social class, by manipulating the societal culture (beliefs, explanations, perceptions, values) so that its ruling-class worldview is imposed as the societal norm, which then is perceived as a universally valid ideology and status quo beneficial to all of society, whilst benefiting only the ruling class Democracy ‘Democracy is like pornography’ ‘we know it when we see it’—Victor Davis Hanson It is hard to classify what exactly democracy consists of, but most would agree when lack of human rights or non-elected government is in power it is hard then to classify as a democracy. -Countries that some consider to be undemocratic still call them selves democratic states like Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or the Islamic Republic of Iran. Canadian Political Philosopher C.B Macpherson argues that there are three types of democracy 1.Liberal democracy- where there is competition between political parties 2.Developmental and 3.Communist democracy- do not have competitive elections . - At the end of the day most agree that democracy is based on equality. -Tyranny of the majority - is a criticism of the scenario in which decisions made by a majority under that system would place that majority's interests so far above a dissenting individual's interest that the individual would be actively oppressed. -Social capital- this refers to norms of interpersonal trust, a sense of civic duty, a believe that one’s involvement in politics and in the life of the community matters. Argued to have economic value, and that citizens will be happier and have more control of their own lives. -Socialists argue against Social capital because a small portion of the population “the capitalist class” controls the vast majority of economic production and distribution. -This inequality in property for some (Marxists) outweighs the importance of ‘one person-one vote’ in determining the real political influence of different classes within society. -Issues over how much should citizens be involved in policy making? ‘Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are [democracy’s] only safe depositories---Thomas Jefferson -People now have more access to information about politics however this information is sometimes biased, like television and still creates a large number of people who are misinformed about political subjects. -Modern democracies are all Representative Democracies Representative Democracies – government is carried out by elected legislatures that represent the people. Citizens delegate law-making authority to their representatives. -Decision-making opportunities provide greater and more frequent citizen participation. - Usually are referendums -These referendums are criticized because they generally have low voter turn outs and vested interest spend lots of money on advertising to persuade the publics opinion -Right and freedoms are believed by most of us to be important in democratic societies, however protecting these rights and freedoms can create undemocratic situations. -How democratic is Canada? Is one of the highest ranked democratic societies behind some Scandinavian and northern European countries. -Operationalizes- is the process of defining a fuzzy concept so as to make the concept clearly distinguishable or measurable and to understand it in terms of empirical observations. -Freedom house (organization that ranked countries on standards of democracy) operationalizes democracy in a measurable way combining political rights, civil liberties, press freedom, public corruptions etc. Rule of law- may truly be said to be the foundation of democratic government, ‘it means that everyone is subject to the law; that no one, no matter how important or powerful, is above the law’ Who Gets Heard, and Why? -Having money buys, at a minimum greater access to those in positions of political authority and the ability to get a wider and perhaps more sympathetic hearing for the issues and points of view that matter most to the group spending money. -Individuals and organizations can make contributions to political parties in Canada. Public Agenda- are issues that have not been identified by opinion leaders in the media and in the government as ones that warrant some policy response, even if that decisions not to act. Is democracy a process or an outcome? -Most would agree that democracy involves a bit of both. -Formal institutions are only a part of what makes a society’s politics democratic or not. The activities of the media, interest groups, and political parties are at least as crucial to the qualities of democracy. Likewise, the socio-economic and ideological backgrounds to democratic government have important effects on how the formal and informal features of the political system operate. -Democracy cannot be reduced to a simple constructional formula, nor to some particular vision of social equality. Political Identities -Identities are ideas that connect individuals to larger groups -They connect people together -By nature they are exclusive -People can have multiple political identities -Interest and identities are not inevitably political The Nation is one of the most important political identities in Canadian politics -A nation for most is a community with certain characteristics that distinguish it from other communities -Details become problematic because they include ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’ definitions Many types of political identities; Regional Cultural Social. -These identities sometimes directly influence politics and some have yet to surface Political Fault lines, old and new -Events that shape or are shaping the topography of Canadian politics -The separation of French and English Canada is an old example of a political fault line -The relationship with the U.S.A, living beside a more powerful nation, having to live in their shadow influences Canadian growth -Regionalism, because of Candida’s size many regions devolved differently culturally and economically -Other fault lines include Aboriginal rights, environmental protection, and multiculturalism. -Economic inequality is becoming a new fault line in Canadian politics. Chapter 2 Political Culture p. 32-74 Ideologies, Values & Institutions - An ideology is a set of interrelated beliefs about how society is organized and how it ought to function - When politics of a society is described as “pragmatic”, it may indicate that a particular ideology dominates to such a degree that it has become the conventional wisdom - A person who regularly and consciously thinks about political matters is considered an ideologue - Political culture may be though of as a cluster of typical orientations towards the political universe - Political culture focuses on the different values, beliefs and ideas spread throughout different societies - Political scientists measure such things as political knowledge and participation, feelings of political efficacy (sense of whether their participation matters), and alienation (estrangement from the political system) - Canadians are said to be less likely to challenge authority than Americans, Canadians are more deferential Left, Right & Centre - Right is described as one with an individualistic belief system - Left is described as one with a collectivist belief system - Centre is described as mainstream politics, those who follow this are likely to be viewed as pragmatic Classical Liberalism - Liberalism in the mid 20th Century - Freedom of religious choice and practice - Free enterprise and free trade in the realm of economics - Freedom of expression and association within politics Classical Conservatism - Based on the importance of tradition - Accepted human inequality (social, political, economic) - Emphasized importance of continuity with the past and the preservation of law and order - Believed God and tradition were the true founts of political authority Classical Socialism - Never made it to even minor parties in Canada, though many of its ideologies have been influential in various ways - Based on the principle of equality of a condition, a radical egalitarianism that distinguished socialist doctrine from liberalisms advocacy of equal opportunity - Supports role of the state in directing economy Explaining Ideas & Institutions - Explanation of Canadiansʼ political ideas and of the institutions that embody them can be categorized into 3 main camps: 1. Fragment Theory - Canada was discovered by Europeans, therefore much of our roots are based on European ideologies - Canada is now considered a New World society since we have changed from these European roots over the years - New World societies were “fragments” of the European societies because they represented only part of the socio-economic and cultural spectrum from the European society in which they originated from. Also, because their creation coincided with a particular ideology era - Immigrants brought “cultural baggage” (values and beliefs) - For Bell and Tepperman, the fragment theory sees the culture of founding groups as a kind of “genetic code” that does not determine, but sets limits to later cultural developments - Weak theory when discussing why the culture of immigrants would become dominant. Usually it is the immigrants that adapt to their new surrounding culture - Canada is categorized as a 2-fragment society: French and English - Immigrants from France brought Catholicism and feudal ideas (rigid social classes connected to one another by mutual rights and duties based on tradition, and the exclusion of people from the full right to participate in politics) - English Canada was influenced by immigrants from the United States (Loyalists) that left after losing the American War of Independence (1776) - Some argue that the reason they left was because the liberal views of the Loyalists were diluted by conservative (Tory) political beliefs - Others reject the Tory views were never apart of English Canadaʼs political views - Those who believe conservatism influence English Canada argue that the emergence of socialism in Canada was facilitated by (a) the fact that liberalism never achieved the status that it did in the US and (b) the fact that social class was not a foreign concept in English Canada. According to this view, conservatism and socialism are two varieties of collectivism 2. The Role of Formative Events - Like humans, societies are marked by certain major events at critical periods in their development, these are called formative events - In politics, these events are associated both with ideas and institutions - Main exponent of this theory is sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset - He first argued that the political development of the US was shaped by revolutionary origins - Also argued that English Canada was shaped by counter-revolutionary origins - Says that two nations, Canada and US, came out of the American Revolution (Us is of revolution and Canada is of counter-revolution) - Many of the major economic and cultural policies in Canada read largely as a series of refusals in the face of Americanizing pressures - Bell and Tepperman argue that Loyalism was self-justification for not being American - Some argued that ideological liberalism was followed by Loyalists and that this meant they were anti-government, however this was not true - They argue, it was only the US that liberalism acquired a strong antigovernment character - Loyalists had an identity crisis therefore adopted their Britishness - Anti-Americanism is apart of Loyalism today - The Conquest for French Canada is similar to the American War of Independence and its effects English Canada 3. Economic Structures and Political Ideas - Fragment Theory and Formative Events explanation are both “hopelessly idealistic” because they locate the source of political values and institutions in ideas - The “cultural baggage” of the Fragment Theory - The cultural mindset and symbols associated with Formative Events - Economic interpretation explains cultures and institutions are products of class relations - These classes are rooted in economic production and distribution (“mode of production” - Marx) - Ideas and institutions change in response to change in the economic system and in the class relations - What differentiates this approach from the previous 2 is that culture and institutions are the embodiments or power relations whose sources lie in the economic system - Argues that the dominant ideas of a society are those of its most powerful class - Those who control the system of economic production and distribution - Those who are not of the dominant class, which would be majority of the people, support the ruling of the dominant class for two reasons: 1. They may be victims of false consciousness. People are unable to see that the elite few are exploiting others and following their own self-interests. 2. Those under the dominant class accept the views as “common sense” because these ideas conform to their personal experience The Political Ideas of Canadians Community - Political community is defined as a shared sense of belonging to a country whose national integrity is worth preserving - This is something less than nationalism - Not quite the same as patriotism - It is when people within the area have more in common with each other rather than with people from neighbouring states - Have good reasons for living together - Many issues with Aboriginal Canadians demanding self-government - Deal with influence of US culture on Canadians - Also many issues with French Canada, or simply Quebec, wanting to separate. Two aspects of the issue will be examined for a better understanding of its severity: 1. Political Violence - Only been 2 political assassinations in Canada since the Confederation - Canada is low on the list in terms of riots, armed political attacks, political violence deaths and government sanctions - Most political violence, instigated by groups or individuals, is related to the French-English conflict and with Aboriginal Canadians population status - Episodes of violence raised questions about neutrality of the state and legitimacy of its actions 2. Public Attitudes - The idea that Quebec wanted independence from Canada - Support from other political parties and the public has increased over the years since the mid-60s - Support is more from younger cohorts than all over voters. Time, possibly, will allow for separatism - Issues with Aboriginal Canadians - The Oka confrontation, when the Mohawk Warriors defended their land which the local municipality planned to extend a golf course onto, led to much more public consciousness of the issue(s) Freedom - In Canadian literature and American pop-culture, the idea is portrayed that Canadians are more willing to give up individual freedom in pursuit of social order or group rights - Canadians are also less likely to share the view with Americans that gun ownership is significant for protection not only from other but also from the state. To Canadians, this makes no sense - After 9/11, Americans became very focused on their security and some argued that Canada is now the society that cares more about freedom Equality - Canadians appear to value equality more than Americans do - They are much more likely to support public policies - Americans are said to stress equality of opportunity, whereas Canadians are more likely to stress equality of condition - In the past, Canadians have debated over equality between different groups in society, not equality between individuals like the Americans - An official policy of multiculturalism has existed in Canada since 1971 - Gender equality has changed significantly recently, for the better - American are also recognized as more racist than Canadians Citizen Expectations for Government - Canadians are more likely to look to their government to help meet their needs than Americans - Red Tories are conservatives who believe that government has a responsibility to act as an agent for the collective good, and that this means going beyond just law and order - Americans are more likely than Canadians to participate in volunteering events/unpaid work for religious, youth, sports and recreation, educational, and cultural groups - Americans tend to be more traditionally religious than Canadians How Different Are Canadian and American Values? - It is argued that these value differences are significant and growing - Some say that Canadians have more in common with Western Europeans, such as the French - Both Canada and the Us have undergone substantial value change - The values difference between both are small...except for religious and moral issues - They are becoming more similar in some issues and more different in other issues Chapter 4: Regionalism and Canadian Politics - Many believe that the challenges of regionalism and inter-regional conflict are a central part of the Canadian story o Donald Smiley identified regionalism as one of the three fundamental axes of Canadian politics o Seen as a source of major political divisions and controversies throughout Canada’s history - James Madison in the Federalist Papers argued that a larger territory encompassing a greater diversity of regional interests was more likely to provide protection for personal freedoms, group rights, and sectional interests than would a small homogeneous country o As the physical size of a country increases and the scope of its social and especially economic interests was enlarged, the likelihood of any particular group being able to dominate others or of being able to form a coalition with other interests to achieve such domination would decline o Small countries with homogeneous populations were incapable of maintaining respect for individual and majority rights o Feel that superior members would oppress the rights of others and this was less likely to happen in a larger, more diverse country o This argument has never resonated very positively in Canada The Unexpected Persistence of Regionalism - Upsurge in regionalism in Canada in last few decades o Ex: party system, western alienation, regional economic disparities, intergovernmental conflict - The Party System o Two historically dominant parties (Liberals and Conservatives) o Character of party system has been more regionally than nationally based since 1993 general election  Bloc Quebecois – elected more MPs from Quebec than any other province  Canadian Alliance (Reform Party) won almost all its seats west of Ontario  Progressive Conservative Party elected more MPs from Atlantic provinces than anywhere else - Western Alienation o 1970s there was a sharp upward trend in western grievances against Ottawa and the Ontario-Quebec axis o Argued that Ottawa treated the resources with which the West was well endowed, and which formed the basis for western prosperity differently and less favourably than those located primarily in provinces in Ontario and Quebec - Economic Disparities o Disparity has increased between wealthy provinces like Alberta and Ontario and less affluent provinces like New Brunswick and Nova Scotia o This does not necessarily mean greater inter-regional conflict if the central government is able to subsidize incomes and public services in the poorer regions and if tax payers in the wealthier regions are willing to pay for this regional redistribution of wealth - Intergovernmental Conflict o Intergovernmental conflict is alive and intense on a number of fronts that include such important matters as environmental policy, health care, taxation, cities, and post-secondary education - Twentieth-Century Social and political observers believe that as the conditions of people’s existence became more alike, their values, beliefs, and behaviour would converge o As modern transportation, mass media, public education, and consumer lifestyle habits broke down the barriers that previously separated regional communities and nurtured their distinctiveness, regionalism would become a weaker force in social and political life o Predicted that region, like religion and ethnicity would eventually be replaced by class as the dominant fault line in the politics of modernized societies Three Principal Factors that help to explain the attraction and persistence of regionalism - Traditional thinking underestimated the degree to which regionally based states and elites may invest in regionalism o 1970s, began to use the term province-building to describe the phenomenon of powerful provincial governments using the various constitutional, legal and taxation levers available to them in order to increase their control over activities and interests within their provincial borders and , in consequence, their stature in Ottawa o Alan Cairns argued that the strength of regionalism in Canada was due to a Constitution that gave Canada’s provincial governments considerable law- making and revenue raising powers - the failure of national institutions (political, cultural and economic) to produce levels of national integration and identity o many Canadians (particularly in Quebec and in the West) have remained unconvinced that the institutions of the national government and its policies have their best interests in mind o Inter-state federalism: where conflict and co-operation are played out between the national and regional governments o Intra-state federalism: where these forces are contained within the institutions of the national state Structures and Policies Intended to Accommodate regional interests and perspectives: Structures: - Senate incorporates principle of regional representation by assigning the same number of seats - Supreme Court Act requires that at least 3/9 justices be members of the Quebec bar o 3 must be from Ontario o 1 from each of the western and eastern regions - Section 36 of the Constitution Act, 1982 – equalization payments to ensure that provincial governments have sufficient revenues to provide reasonably comparable levels of public services at reasonably comparable levels of taxation Policies - Ottawa has attempted to ‘regionalize’ its cultural activities in various ways – regional programming through CBC, Department of Heritage which has a mandate to express the diversity of Canada - Development of the Department of Regional Economic Expansion, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Western Economic Diversification Canada under the Department of Industry - Third factor whose importance was overlooked by those who anticipated the decline of regionalism involves the persistence of differences in the economic interests and social characteristics of regions o Differences persist and their political importance is considerable Mapping Regionalism in Canada - Common to speak of four main regions of Canada o The West (BC and the Prairies) o Ontario o Quebec o Atlantic Provinces Economic Regions - Atlantic Canada – dependent on fisheries - Ontario and Quebec - greater manufacturing base - West – greater reliance on grain production and natural resources - Economic characteristics of Canada’s provinces vary considerably Kyoto Protocol and Alberta - Requires policies that would reduce the use of carbon-based fuels - Albertans and their government knew that the environmental gains envisaged by advocates of the Kyoto Protocol would be achieved at the expense of the industry that is central to their province’s economic well-being Examples of economic policies that have been slanted towards the interests of central Canada - Tariffs o The cost for western farmers to ship grain by rail to the Fort William railhead (today’s Thunder Bay) always seemed greater than it should have been to those in the West, and the shipment of eastern manufactures to the West made prices higher than they might have been if trade protected by the high tariffs of the National Policy beginning in 1879, could have followed more natural north- south lines to contiguous American states and regions o Study prior to the US Free Trade Agreement concluded that the per capita benefits for Ontario were about equal to the per capita costs in the West and Atlantic Canada o Quebecers were also net beneficiaries, but the decline of that province’s manufacturing base by the 1980s reduced the level of these benefits from what it had been for the most of the previous century - Terms of entry into Confederation o When provinces entered Canada in 1905, they did not immediately receive all of the law-making powers held by other provinces o Did not have control over natural resources within provincial borders (a power that sections 92 and 109 of the Constitution Act, 1867 assigns exclusively to the provinces) - The National Energy Policy (1981) o National Enery Program (NEP) – involved an enormous transfer of wealth from Alberta to the rest of Canada and chiefly to the consumers and industries of canada’s industrial heartland o Placed a limit on the price that could be charged in Canada for oil and gas from Canadian sources (considerably below the world price) o Currently less talk about the rest of Canada getting a slice of Alberta’s revenue pie (probably because of Conservative government) o A lot of criticism from Quebec regarding the environmental effects of oil sands development – polls taken between 2008-2010 found that Quebecers were more likely to believe that the environmental costs associated with the oil sands outweighed the economic benefits to the country and to their province Canada’s Cultural Regions - Richard Simeon and David Elkins conclude that there are strong differences among provinces that cannot be explained by demographic and socio-economic differences between Canada’s regions - Most people believe that it is regional variations in basic and enduring political values and beliefs are not very great in English-speaking Canada, and while the differences between French speaking Quebec and the rest of Canada appear to be more significant, they are not enormous o Survey in 2002 by Environics Research Group supports this consensus o Observed that there does not appear to be any difference across regions of Canada in support for such Charter principles and values as bilingualism and minority language, education rights, multiculturalism, the appropriateness of ‘reasonable limits’ on freedom of expression, and the rights of the accused o Quebecers are more likely than other Canadians to value equality over personal freedom, more likely to support the extension of equality rights to disadvantaged groups - Survey by Michael Ornstein and Michael Stevenson – measured support for social programs, redistributive policies, foreign investment, labour unions, and large corporations o Quebec is to the left of the others o No significant variation between provinces - General Social Survey carried out by Statistics Canada o Provinces are similar in terms of level of trust in individuals (Quebec had the lowest score) o Citizens in wealthier provinces give more than those in less affluence provinces o Quebecers are less likely to engage in volunteer activity o Rates of involvement in organizations are similar between provinces  20% of Anglophone provinces are actively involved in religious organization  BC – 16.8 %  Quebec – only 6.3% - Albertans are least likely to believe that the federal government deserves their trust and confidence or that Ottawa gives them value for their tax money o Also appear less committed than other Canadians to the long standing policy of equalization (where money is transferred by Ottawa from the richer to the poorer provinces) - Atlantic Canada has greater trust and confidence in federal gov - 64% of Ontarians agreed that Ottawa treated their province fairly o 22% felt provincial gov should have more power o Alberta, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland had opposite answers Cross-Border Regions - CBR: a distinct grouping of neighbouring and nearby provinces and states whose economic, cultural, and institutional linkages create commonalities between the members of this binational (Canada-US) grouping and set it apart from other regions o Give rise to physical infrastructure such as roads, rail lines, bridges, tunnels and shared water roués o Provide the impetus for cross-border institutions and processes – both public, between subnational governments and between non-governmental groups – whose functions are to co-ordinate, plan, promote and resolve conflicts related to the economic linkages between the members of a CBR - The West o BC, Alberta, Yukon, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana o Remoteness from central govs, strong sense of regionality o Emphasis on shared environmental issues - The Prairie-Great Plains o Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota o Strong economic ties, strong linkages based on shared management of common watersheds - The Great Lakes-Heartland o Dense network of cross-border institutions, public and private links between states and provinces - The East o Quebec + Vermont, Maine, New Hampshire, New York  Strong ties in history, trade, transportation and institutions but nothing much in the way of a shared regional identity o Atlantic Provinces + Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut  Strong sense of regional identity - CBR is important for environmental issues - Problem with scheme is that it seeks to fit entire political jurisdictions into particular regions, but that is not the way geography has shaped these cross-border economic, social, cultural and political regions - Natural geography and jurisdictional realities may no pull in the same direction Regional Identities and Western Alienation - West has long been characterized by sentiments of resentment towards and alienation from Ottawa and what westerners perceive to be political preoccupations of central Canada - Belief that the West’s stories are not given fair weight by a Canadian academic and cultural establishment whose centre of gravity is in the Toronto-Ottawa-Montreal triangle - George Woodcock – fulminated about the ‘betrayal’ of Confederation, which he argued was based on the ‘long campaign of the centralists in Ottawa to recover the power that in recent decades has rightfully flowed to the regions’ o Accused ‘centralizers’ like Pierre Trudeau of having no appreciation of or sympathy for the distinctive history and consciousness of the West - Barry Cooper – argues that Western Alienation is not in fact a psychological, sociological, or economic condition experienced by those in the West. Rather it is the awareness that the public realm, whose voices are heard and what counts as legitimate political discourse, belongs to others Populism –arose in the American West and Midwest in the late 1800s out of the perception that economic and political elites were too powerful and unsympathetic to the people’s interests o Seeks to return power to the common people o Sees elected politicians as delegates of those who elected them, and therefore is hostile to party discipline and aspects of parliamentary government that reduce a public official’s ability or willingness to be a direct tribune of his or her constituents’ preferences - Western Canadian version – combination of imported ideas and homegrown conditions that made the American message resonate in a farm and resource-based economy where people were constantly reminded by the railroads, the banks, the tariffs, and the grain elevator companies that they did not control their own destiny Chapter 5 Summary: The Constitution Constitution- the fundamental law of a political system it is “fundamental” because all other laws must conform to the constitution ion terms of how they are made and in terms of their substance - Expected to establish order - Allows for peaceful settlement - Necessary for democratic politics - In modern societies the alternatives to constitutional government are anarchy - The rules that make up a constitution deal with two sets of relations a. Relationship between citizens and the state b. Distribution of functions and powers between different parts of the state A constitution also performs several more specific functions: 1. Representation  Representation by population is based on the principle of “one person one vote”  Also establishes the methods by which the holders of public office are selected ( Election and Appointment) 2. Power  Limits and divides power  Existence of separate branches of government (federal, provincial)  Law and Conventions affect both the extent and distribution of state power 3. Rights  “ something that a person is entitled to”  Basic right of citizens to choose their government  Rights may empower individuals by requiring the state to either protect or poromote their interests Community and Identity:  Trudeau argued that a constitution establishes a community  Establishes a shared condition within that territory  A constitution may inspire negative and positive feelings among the members of political community National Purpose  Constitution linked to a sense of purpose and direction for society  The Constitution Act, 1867’s national purpose was the building of a new country stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans.  The Constitution Act 1982 commits Ottawa and the provinces to the promotion of equal opportunities for Canadians and the reduction of economic disparities between regions of the country. Federalism  Provinces are not constitutionally subordinate to the federal government, and Ottawa is not dependent on the provinces for the exercise of these powers  Written Constitution distributes law-making and revenue-raising authority between the central and regional governments Democracy  Unwritten and fundamental givens of Canada’s constitution  Substantive Goals: -Respect for the inherent dignity of every person -Commitment to equality and social justice -Social and cultural diversity, including respect for the identities of minority groups’ social and political institutions that enhance the opportunities for individuals and groups to participate in society Constitutionalism and the Rule of Law  Parliamentary supremacy- this means that Parliament’s authority is superior to that of all other institutions of government. In concrete terms this means that the courts will not second-guess the right of the legislature to pass any law, on any subject as long as it does not involve a matter that, under the Constitution is properly legislated on by another level of government. Was replaced by constitutional supremacy as a result of the Constitution Act, 1982 The Charter of Rights and Freedoms:  Fundamental Freedoms- Section 2 - Freedom of religion, speech, belief, expression, the media,etc  Democratic Rights- Section 3-5 -opportunity to vote in regular elections  Mobility Rights- Section 6 - Prohibiting provincial governments from imposing tariffs on commodities coming from other provinces  Equality Rights- Section 15 - Rule of law- a vital principle of democratic government, it means that the actions of governments and their agents must be based on the authority of law and that all persons, the governed and those who govern are subject to the same laws - Everyone should be treated equally under the law  Language Rights- Section 22 & 23 -The Language Rights in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are presented in two sections, the Official Languages of Canada and Minority Language Education Rights.  Aboriginal Rights- Section 35 - Includes everything dealing with Aboriginal people (ex: hunting rules) Parliament:  Privy Council- Essentially the cabinet, under the leadership of the Prime Minister. Formally, however anyone who has ever been a member of cabinet retains the title of privy councillor, but only those who are members of the government of the day exercise the constitutional and legal power associated with the Privy Council Responsible Government- the constitutional principle according to which the Prime Minister and cabinet require the support of a majority of members in the House of Commons in order to govern. If the government can no longer maintain majority support in the House, in other words if it loses the confidence of the House, it is compelled by constitutional convention to resign. The PM and other party leaders control various levers that can be used to maintain party discipline, including expulsion of a member from party caucus withholding promotion or other rewards from an MP, or refusing to allow him or her to run as the party’s candidate in the next election. Party Discipline- the practice of MPS belonging to the same party voting as a unified bloc in the way directed by their leader. This practice is based on a combination of reasons, the foremost being the understanding that the government is required to resign if it loses an important vote in the House of Commons. Parliamentary supremacy- this means that Parliament’s authority is superior to that of all other institutions of government. In concrete terms this means that the courts will not second-guess the right of the legislature to pass any law, on any subject as long as it does not involve a matter that, under the Constitution is properly legislated on by another level of government. Was replaced by constitutional supremacy as a result of the Constitution Act, 1982 Ministerial Responsibility- the obligation of a cabinet minister to explain and defend in the legislature and ultimately to be responsible for the policies and actions of his or her department Constitutional Supremacy- Section 52(1) of the Constitution Act 1982 declares that “The Constitution of Canada is supreme law of Canada and any law that is inconsistent with the provisions of the Constitution is to the extent of the inconsistency of no force or effect.” This means that the laws of all governments and their agencies must conform to all the Constitution. Separation of Powers- a constitutional principle supported by section 24 of the charter that guarantees the special role of the judiciary without interference from the legislature or the executive to interpret what the law and the Constitution mean when disputes arise. Judicial Independence- the principle according to which judges should be free from any and all interference in their decision-making. It is particularly important that they be free from interference by the government to ensure that the courts are seen to be independent and non-partisan. One of the key protections for judicial independence is the fact that once judges are appointed they cannot be removed from office before retirement age (usually 75) expect for serious case. Common Law- In Anglo-American legal systems such as Canada’s the component of the law based on the decisions of courts. Like statute law, passed by legislatures, common- law rules are enforceable in the courts Constitutional Conventions- practices that emerge over time and are generally accepted as binding rules of the political system, such as the convention that the leader of the political system, such as the convention that the leader of the political party with the most seats in the House of Commons after an election shall be called upon to try to form a government with majority support in the House. Unlike the written Constitution, conventions are not enforceable in the courts. Changing the Constitution  Constitutions are meant to last but seldom do  A coup d’etat is one way of changing a constitution  The Constitution Act of 1982 did three main things: a. Transformed Canada’s written Constitution form a set of British laws intro Canadian constitutional law b.Entrenched the Charter of rights and freedoms in the Constitution c. Established formal mechanisms for changing the Constitution Canadian Democracy Chapter Six Rights and Freedoms What do rights and freedoms mean?  Usually expressed in uncompromising language  Non-negotiable  Must be respected in all cases and not when majority or governments find it convenient to do so  In reality not all are absolute o They may collide leading to compromise- yelling fire when there isn’t one, compromises the safety of people o It is impractical- everyone is free to practice any language but it’s not practical that government services have all of these languages o The Pre-Charter Era: 1867-1981  Rights – “entitlements”  Freedoms – “liberty”, “without restraint”  Rights are so fundamental to human dignity the receive special protection under law  Freedoms involve: individuals liberty to do or believe certain things without restraint by government  Defense of rights requires some government action  Protection of freedoms requires the government refrains from interfering  Rights=Active government role  Freedoms=Limited government role Universal Declaration of Human rights: Passed by the UN in 1948 that provides the basis for various international covenants to which Canada is a signatory Human Rights Civil Rights or Liberties are the basic rights and freedoms  Political rights/fundamental freedoms  Democratic rights  Legal rights  Economic rights  Equality rights  LOOK AT WEEK THREE CHARTER PART 1 or in-depth examples of each On The origins and Meanings of rights  Rights are constructed out of historical circumstances  Come from political struggles  To be legitimate must be successfully linked to one or more of society’s fundamental values Rights and Their Protection  Critics of the charter said it would lead to Americanization of Canadian politics if it were entrenched o Said elected politicians are better to correspond with sentiments of citizens and easy to hold the accountable for their decisions Pre Charter •BNA Act – few references to rights •Alberta Press Reference, 1938 •Saumur v. The City of Quebec, 1953 •Switzman v. Ebling and Attorney General of Quebec, 1957 •Question became whether it was within or outside of provincial jurisdiction (ultra vires/intra vires)  1960 Canadian Bill of rights o Includes many of the rights and freedoms in the charter but is a statute and does not have the status of constitutional law Life in the Charter ERA  Reasonable Limits and the Charter o Section 1 o States in charter that rights and freedoms are subject to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstably justified in a freee and democratic society  Oakes Test o Made in supreme court o Test that courts use in determining whether a law or government action contravenes a right or freedom in the Charter  The Notwithstanding Clause o Section 33 o Parliament or provincial legislature may expressly declare that a law shall operate even if it contravenes the fundamental freedoms, legal rights or equality right in the charter o Invoked rarely, most controversially by Quebec gov’t in 1989 Chapter 7 – Federalism  Federalism: canada‟s constitution established two levels of gov‟t (government) – nation and provincial – both of which have important law making and taxation powers = divided jurisdictions.  The constitutional authority to make laws and to tax is divided between a national gov‟t and some number of regional governments. Neither the national acting alone nor the regionals acting together have the authority to alter the powers of the other level of gov‟t.  Two understanding of federalism 1) legal term – based on the existence of the constitution. 2) sociological approach – „the essence of federalism lies not in the constitutional or institutional structure, but in society itself‟- Livingston…  Real answer is the constitutional approach – if federalism is quality of societies then few countries are not federal (most societies have ethnic/linguistic/political minorities concentrated in regions)  Unitary gov’t – sovereignty or competence resides exclusively with the central gov‟t, and regional gov‟t are legally and politically subordinate.  Federal gov’t – sovereignty is distributed between central and provincial (state) governments so that, within a single political system, neither order of gov‟t is legally or politically subordinate to the other and each order of gov‟t is elected by and exercises authority directly on the electorate.  Confederal gov’t – even when there is considerable allocation of responsibilities to central institutions or agencies, the ultimate sovereignty is retained by the member state governments and the central gov‟t is legally and politically subordinate to them.  Circumstances that lead to adoption of federalism – agreement among the regional components of the federal state that the benefits of being part of the union exceed whatever costs membership may impose – based on consensus of regions/compromise. – some may enter out of despair at the lack of viable alternatives but doesn‟t diminish the fact that the voluntary consent of the regions forms the basis of a federal union.  Federalism sustained by sense of political nationality – sense of political community that transcends regional, ethnic, and linguistic identifications – develops around the national state. – ex American federalism first split over issue of slavery, not shared ideologies/community.  Strength of political nationality – determined by regional inequality…if citizens of a region feel strongly that existing federal structures discriminate against their interests = strain on their sense of political nationality ex. Ontarians feel twice as likely to be treated with the respect it deserves compared to other provinces.  Nationalist movements – regional grievances that may threaten stability of federalism, accompanied by territorial claims. Nationalism makes demands on both a territory and a community that shares some ethnic etc traits – differs from regionalism and far more difficult to accommodate within a federal state. Origins of Canadian federalism  Canada‟s federal constitution was a compromise – most of the Anglophones favoured a unitary system of government in which all power would be in the hands of a new national parliament  They were opposed by the French Canadians (led by George Etienne Cartier) who insisted on constitutional protection for their cultural community. Wanted a federal union that gave exclusive jurisdiction over linguistic and cultural matters to the provincial gov‟ts.  Federalism also preferred by maritime provinces who were unwilling to see their strong local identities submerged under unitary gov‟t.  The conflict between the protestant and catholic communities had produced instability and political deadlock – could be reduced by assigning local matters to the provincial legislatures. Ottawa would deal with matters of national interests ex. Trade/commerce, immigration, defense, transportation.  British North America required a strong national gov‟t – commercial interests (railways) wanted unification, a wider revenue base, and integrated national economy. Also needed for burden of assuming own military defence…in contrast – facts of cultural dualism existed where regional societies weren‟t unwilling to be completely submerged in a unitary state that would be dominated by Ontario and Quebec – Federalism was necessary compromise  Ottawa had clear superiority over provincial economic matters, and taxation. The confederation agreement also established the practice of federal money transfers to the provinces – created dependence of the economically weaker provinces on subsidies from Ottawa – continues to this day.  Quasi-federal – confederation agreement also created quasi-federal provisions – establish a nearly colonial relationship between Ottawa and the provinces by permitting the federal gov‟t to disallow laws passed by provincial legislatures. 1) Section 55, 56, 90 of the Constitutuion reserve the right of approval from any Act passed by provincial legislature for a period of up to 1 year or to disallow the Act at any time within that year…this was widely used within the first coupe decades after confederation 2) section 92(10C) gives the federal gov‟t the authority to intervene in a provincial economy by declaring that the construction of a „public work‟ is in the national interest 3) section 93(3)(4) gives Ottawa the power to pass laws respecting education, an area of provincial power – never been used.  Views on Canadian Federalism 1) compact between French and English Canada. Means that Quebec should have a veto over any constitutional change that affects either federal distribution of powers or the relative wiehgt of Quebec in Parliament – rejected by supreme court in 1981 2) contract among the provinces that agreed to give up certain powers to a new national gov‟t of their creation. Each province has a right to veto constitutional change that affects provincial powers or national representation. Three variants i) restrict the right of veto to the original signatories ie NS, NB, QC, ON ii) extends it to all provinces iii) unanimous consent is not required but substantial provincial agreement is necessary….none of these have legal foundation The Federal Division of Powers  in some cases policy areas were unimagined when the federal divisions of powers was framed – electronic communications, air transportation, and environmental protection…are not explicitly assigned to either Ottawa or the provinces. In other cases, what were minor responsibilities have assumed greater importance now.  The heart of the federal divisions of power are in sections 91 and 92 of the constitution act…s 91 is the powers that belong to parliament s 92 are the provincial legislatures powers.  Ottawa‟s „right‟ to spend money has never been established in courts…power is implied rather than stated in the Constitution….ex Ottawa spends money on providing grants for universities (a provincial matter) or tax benefits, or childcare (all provincial)  “Peace, Order and Good Government of Canada” – courts tend to place a narrow interpretation on the federal Parliament‟s general authority to make laws for the POGG…this power has been reduced over time to emergency power which cannot be justified under normal circumstances. The POGG is really a wartime power, and courts should be reluctant to question parliament‟s judgment that a war related emergency exists...in 1970 courts were overruled and decided that the emergency doctrine could be liberated to other circumstances  Trade and commerce – ottawa‟s authority over trade/commerce is sweeping, any economic activity falls within its scope. Has been limited over time to interprovincial trade, international trade, and general trade affecting the whole of Canada.  Impact of judicial decisions – court rulings seldom put an end to conflicts between Ottawa and the proncies. Instead they typically become part of the bargaining process between gov‟ts. Ex. Re Constitution of Canada (1981) Supreme court ruled that Ottawa‟s proposal to patriate the BNA act and the change it in ways affecting the provincial powers was legal, but unconstitutional in the legal sense…therefore, gave the federal gov‟t the legal victory but the provinces the moral. They went back to negotiating afterwards  Evolving federalism – believed that judicial decisions decentralizing Canadian federalism was not planned by fathers of confederation – was attenuated in 1949 when the Supreme court was created and became highest court of appeal. Tensions in the root of intergovernmental conflict have shaped federalism as well 1) the status of Quebec and the powers of the Quebec state 2) relations between the more heavily industrialized and populous centre of the country and the outlying western and eastern edges 3) the political and administrative needs of gov‟t. Quebec  Quebec – unique role from predominately French speaking character and their large size and population – impact on two main fronts: the constitution and the financial and administrative practices of federalism.  Quebec the major pusher for federalism and views the constitution as agreement between Anglophones and francophones. As Ottawa became increasingly involved in areas of provincial jurisdiction (ex. Spending powers, direct taxation)Quebec became more protective of its exclusive provincial powers under the constitution.  Quiet revolution of 1960‟s eclipsed the conservative anti-statist nationalism that dominated Quebec politics for more than a century…Union Naionale party ran in 1966 with slogan “Quebec First” and campaigned for all social and cultural matters to transfer completely to the provinces.  Created Parti Quebecois in 1968 – brought together all major groups in favour of political independence of Quebec…contrast, Liberal Part of Quebec remained federalist, but advocated special status for Quebec within federalism.  Victoria Charter rejection – 1971 Quebec demanded constitutional supremacy in areas where Ottawa had major programs (family allowances, unemployment insurance, old-age pensions) and wanted financial compensations for running these programs themselves. Trudeau refused to give into these demands and deal fell apart.  In re-creating the Constitution in 1982 Quebec had not agreed to the changes made in it…Quebec put forth 5 demands before it would agree to the constitutional changes in 1982 which were agreed to by Ottawa and the other premiers of provinces and created the basis of the Meech Lake Accord. (ch5 see these constitutional proposes died on the drawing board) and in 1992 a referendum defeated Quebec‟s desire for more autonomy.  In 1995 referendum of separatist movement – no side won by 49.6 over yes of 48.5…within weeks after the referendum the Liberal gov‟t at the time introduced a motion a motion recognizing Quebec a s adistinct society, assigning it a veto over constitutional change and transferring some authority of job training. Periphery Relations  Provinces/regions outside the montreal-windsor belt sit on the outside of national politics and feel resentment towards central Canada. Includes Western Canada‟s resentment of Ottawa‟s favouritism towards Quebec‟s interests.  Intra-state Federalism – the representation and accommodation of regional interests within national political institutions has been an abysmal failure in Canada. The peripheral regions are deprived from significant impact on Ottawa and have tended to rely on their own provincial gov‟ts for protection. State Interests and Intergovernmental Conflict  Governments have their own interests they want to pursue which may have nothing to do with the interests of the regions they represent – conflicts between governments are likely to be generated/influenced by „institutional self-interest‟ of politicians and bureaucrats. – overwhelming evidence supporting this view ex jurisdiction over what matters, tax fields, turf wars etc far away from Canadian citizen concerns  Province building – occurring phenomenon, counterpart to nation- building, „recent evolution of more powerful and competent provincial administrations which aim to manage socioeconomic change in their territories and which are in essential conflict with the central government‟  Divided jurisdictions have given rise to a sprawling and complicated network of relations linking the federal and provincial gov‟ts. The constitution doesn‟t establish a neat division of legislative/taxation powers between Ottawa and the provinces.  Executive federalism – term used to describe the relations between cabinet ministers and officials of the two levels of government. The negotiations and agreements usually undertake minimal to no input from either legislatures or the public. Viewed as undemocratic because undermines role of elected legislature, makes it hard for citizens to determine what level of gov‟t is accountable for what, leaves no room for public debates.  Shared Cost Programs – Provincially administered programs, such as those in the field of health care, to which Ottawa contributes money earmarked for a particular purpose. During the 1960‟s and 1970‟s it was common for ottawas contribution to be determined by how much a province spent on such a program. Since the late 1970s successive federal governments have abandoned this model in favour of block funding.  Block Funding – Under this formula, Ottawa‟s financial contribution to a provincially administered program or policy field is not geared to the level of provincial spending. The federal-provincial fiscal arrangement act of 1977 began this practice of replacing the shared cost program model with block funding. The CHT are the major block funding transfers from Ottawa to the provinces.  Some of the money that Ottawa transfers to the provinces carries conditions as to how it must be spent. These are called conditional grants. Transfers that have no strings attached to them are called unconditional grants.  Equalization – Transfers made by Ottawa to provincial governments whose per capita tax revenues (according to a complex formula negotiated between Ottawa and the provinces) fall below the average of the two most affluent provinces. Equalization is the second largest federal transfer to the provinces, after the CHT and CST.  National Standards – Rules established by the federal government that apply to areas of provincial jurisdiction, particularly health care and social assistance. For example, the Canada Health Act, 1984 prohibits extra-billing by doctors and imposes financial penalties on provinces that allow the practice. The enforcement of national standards depends primarily on the fact that Ottawa transfers money to the provinces to pay for certain social programs.  Fiscal Imbalance – A term used to describe two aspects of public intergovernmental finance in Canada. It has been used since the 1930‟s to refer to the shortfall between the spending requirements of provincial governments and their revenues, while the federal government had revenues sufficient to pay for its program requirements and to transfer revenue to the provinces. This was described as the „fiscal gap‟ until fairly recently. The other meaning ascribed to this term involves the gap that exists between what citizens and corporations in the wealthier provinces, particularly Alberta and Ontario, contribute to the federal government in carious forms of taxation and what they and their provincial governments receive back in federal program spending and transfers. As of 2008, the fiscal imbalance for Ontario was estimated by that provincial government to be $20 billion. Chapter Eight Introduction  Your expectations of the roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches are o Legislative- represents the people and be accountable to them through periods of election. Debate public issues and provide a forum for completion between political parties. Make laws o Executive- implements the laws. Ensure that public business is carried out efficiently, accountably and in accordance with law. Be non- partisan at the bureaucratic levels, such as non-elected officials faithfully carrying out the policies of whatever party forms the government of the day. o Judicial- be non-partisan and free from interference from the government. Interrupts the law’s meaning. Not substitute its preferences for those of elected public officials in matters of public policy, as distinct from legal and constitutional interpretation.  Democratic expectations are not immutable o Many people feel the bureaucracy should be representative of the population is serves o Some argue that is it not reasonable to expect non elected official to be politically neutral and therefore accountability for policy should be shared between bureaucratic and politicians o The elevated status of the courts in Canada is supported by those who believe judges are more likely then politicians to promote democracy and protect rights. o Others may not support the power of the court, arguing the court trespass on grounds that should be held by elected officials, or feel that the courts predominant make up of white men causes for it to be biased and needs more women and minority to make it representative of Canadian society The Executive Branch  The Monarchy and Governor General o Canada is a constitutional monarchy. The monarchy embodies the authority of the Canadian state. o The monarch is responsible for the appointment of the Prime Minister and deciding when parliament shall dissolve and have another election. o Monarch duties are carried out by the Governor General o The main decision making power is held by the Prime Minister who is the head of government and cabinet o Constitutional convention is far more important then the discursion of the monarch. When one party wins the most seats in an election, the choice for prime minister is automatic. o The same applied to dissolving parliament, the Governor Generals role is limited by constitutional convention. Normally the prime minister request parliament be dissolved and a new election held, the request is granted right away. o 1926 however Governor General Byng did not accept Mackenzie Kings request for a new election- this lunched a constitutional crisis. Since then the view has been that the governor general should accept the advice of the prime minister o The monarchs role in Canada is symbolic  They preform ceremonial duties. However people such as James Mallory argues that the monarchy argues the political leaders the splendor of their power. This is a great source of tension for French Canadians, because their head of state representing Britain makes them feel Anglo-Canadians and are more represented.  The Prime Minister and Cabinet o In contrast to the passive role of the monarch and Governor General, the Prime Minister and cabinet are at the center of the policy making process. o One of the PM’s duties is to selected the people who will be cabinet ministers  Generally the cabinet members are other elected members of House of Commons, however sometimes a senator or two are appointed to cabinet to give representation to a region where the governing party has elected few or no members. o The power of the PM and the cabinet comes from a combination of factors  One factor is the written constitution.  Section 11 of the Constitution Act 1876- “There shall be a council to aid and advice the government of Canada, to be styled the queens privy council for Canada”  Section 13 goes further to say the actions of the monarchs representatives in Canada and the Governor General, shall be undertaken by and with the advice of the Queens Privy council. (Privy Council is the cabinet under leadership of the PM)  Theses powers also include control over the budget as stated in section 54  Other factor is Constitutional Convention relating to cabinet and the PM.  The position of the PM is not written in the Constitution, it is understood that the person who leads the dominant party in the House of Commons has the power to decide the following matters  Who will be appointed to and removed from cabinet  When a new election will be held  The administrative structure and decision making process of government  The selections of persons to a wide array of appointive positions, including deputy ministers, judges of all federal and provincial courts, senators, members of federal regulatory agencies and of boards of directors of federal Crown Corporations, ambassadors, ect…. o Responsible government is another constitutional convention that strengthens the power of the PM and cabinet. Elected members of a party tend to act as a unified bloc, particularly when voting on budget measures and important government legislation. o Party discipline ensures members of the governing party will be docile in their support of the government’s policies. o When the ruling party has the majority of the House of Commons and the Senate they are able to move legislative agenda through parliament without serious impediment. o Statute law is not an important source of prime ministerial power. It provides, however, a significant legal basis for the authority and responsibility of individual cabinet ministers.  The statute under a government agency will always specify which minister is responsible for the organizations actions.  Legislation may also assign a particular minister special powers over a part of a bureaucracy, such a approval or veto of all or some category of the organizations decisions, or the right to order an agency of crown corporation to base it decisions on particular guidelines.  Relations with the media o The constitutional and statutory foundations of prime ministerial and cabinet powers are reinforced by the relationship between the political executive and the media. o The PM or cabinet speak directly to the people or to target parts of the public through the media, they are always aware of the wider audience to whom they words and behaviours are communicated. o The reality of direct communication between the PM and cabinets and the public has undermined the role of legislature and political parties. o This infuriates some constitutional purists who argue that the practice of responsible government, the deadlock of the British parliamentary systems, is subverted by direct communications between the government and the people. o other argue that there is no reason to believe the diminished communications role of parliament and the MPs has reduced the democratic accountability of government from what it was before images of the pm and other governments members flicked nightly across television screens.  Representational concerns also surface in the case of the PM o A prime minister whose party’s representation in the House of Commons from a key region is relatively weak can be attempt to convey a message of inclusion by appointing a high profile cabinet minister from that region. o Representation is power. The PM and the cabinet wield considerable power over machinery of government, which is why representation in the inner circle of government is valued by regional and other interests. This power is based in agenda setting role of the PM and cabinet and on their authority within the decision making process of the state. o Each new session of parliament begins with the speech of the throne; the governor general reads a statement addressing the government’s legislative priorities. o The budget also represents the way in which the PM and cabinet define the policy agenda  Every winter the Minister of Finance tables the estimates in the House of Commons. This is like an expenditure budget, it represent the government spending plans for the upcoming year.  Every two years the Minister of Finance presents Parliament with either a revenue budget, which outline the governments plans to change the tax system or a major economic statement, which provides the governments analysis of the state of the economy and where the government plans to steer it to o Agenda setting is part of the decision making process in government.  It is the early stage during which public issues are defined and policy responses are proposed.  The structure of cabinet decision-making was streamlined under Chretien’s liberals to include only five permanent subcommittees of cabinet: economic union, social union, treasury board, the special committee of council, and government communications. And ad hoc committees are created and disbanded, as circumstances require. o The formal structure of cabinet decision making, including committee structure is not a perfect guide to who as influence over what in government.  One reliable rule is that the ministers are influential to the degree that he PM allowed for them to be influential and supports their favored projects and initiatives  A minister who has the PMs ear, and is known to be favored by the PM has enhances status among colleagues in parliament and the media.  Other factors are important to, such as the base of support within the party or being in change of a powerful part of the bureaucracy.  The personal relationship between the PM and a minister is significant in determining that minister influence o Ministerial control over the bureaucracy is another dimension of cabinet decision-making authority.  Ministers are virtually never involved in the day to day running of the departments that fall under their control. Policy initiatives are more likely to be generated within the bureaucracy then from the responsible minister.  Central Agencies o Theses are parts of the bureaucracy whose main or only purpose is to support the decisions-making activities of cabinet. o They preform functions such as: providing cabinet with needed information, applying cabinet decisions in dealing with other parts of the bureaucracy, communication cabinet decisions and their implications to public, provincial governments, of other organizations in the federal state. o Senior officials of central agencies have been refered to “super bureaucrats” o Main central agencies include: The Department of Finance, the Privy Council office, the Treasury Board Secretariat, the Prime Ministers Office and with the PCO, Intergovernmental Affairs.  Department of finance o It formal authority is founded in the department of finance act 1869 and the Financial Administration Act o Has almost exclusive authority over preparation of revenue budget budget speeches, and economic statements delivered in parliament by the finance minister o Even if a new policy idea starts in a different government department, it is not likely to reach the legislation stage if Finance is opposed. o Finance officials are able to influence the entire spectrum of government policy through the annual formulation of the expenditure budget. o The dominant status of Finance was reinforced in the 1990’s during one deficit reduction and debt management became Ottawa’s over riding priorities.  Ottawa turned the corner on the deficit issues and began to accumulate considerable budget surplus during the late 1990’s. Many believed the departments stronghold on governments agenda would loosen under pressure from those who believed that Ottawa could afford to restore spending on some programs that had been cut mid 1990’s. However Finance lost none of its authority at the center of policy making. o Finance has only a few programs for which the department is responsible, whoever, these are important, big ticket ones.  Fiscal equalization- unconditional payments are made to the provinces whose revenue fall below a level agreed to by Ottawa and the provinces. These payments amount to 13 billion each year.  Finance also over sees the entity of federal transfers to provinces- this includes the equalization payments, the Health Canada Transfer and the Social Canada Transfer  The Privy Council Office (PCO) o This is the cabinets secretariat and a principle sources of policy advice to the Prime Minister o Order-In Council 1940 originally created the PCO.  The position of the Chief Clerk of the Privy Council was put on statutory a basis in 1974- there was no specification of duties associated with this person.  This person is head of the public service. The influence of the privy council office comes from their involvement in cabinet making decisions o The PCO is the lead agency for ‘strategic planning and formulation of substantive policy’ The PCOs role is ‘strategic’ because it is situated at the center of all various policy issues and decisions that come before cabinet. o The PCO is divide into lots of secretariats that provide support services for the various committees of cabinet  Theses services include scheduling and keeping time at meetings, providing policy advice and dealing directly with government departments. o The PCO is the part of the bureaucracy most able to see the ‘big picture’ of government policy  This is because the PCO embraces both policy and political concerns  Gordan Robertson, former head of the PCO says “the Prime Ministers Office is partisan, politically orientated and operationally sensitive. The Prive Council Office is non- partisan, operationally orientated, yet politically sensitive ” o the Clerk of the PC has direct communication with the Prim Minister and meets with the PM almost every day they are in Ottawa. This makes the clerk of the PC almost like a deputy minister to the PM and is always one of the most influence people in government.  The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) o Is an administrative adjunct to the Treasury Board (which is cabinets only committee with a statutory basis going back to 1869) o The TBS looks after ‘little decisions’ but little should no be confused with unimportant o The TBS includes…  Office of the Comptroller General of Canada- whose functions include departmental audits, establishing and enforcing accounting standards in government, and the evaluation of particular programs o TBS officials formulate expenditure outlook that along with the economic outlook and fiscal frameworks developed by finance, is the starting point of the annual budget exercise o The expenditure forecast provided by the TBS are used in cabinet when making decisions about allocation of financial resources between competing programs. o TBS officials also asses the spending proposals and plans that departments are required to submit each year o Because the TBS has the deepest knowledge about government spending programs, it is often turned to by the PCO and finance for information and advice.  The Prime Ministers Office o Partisan appointees, rather then by career public servants, staff the PMO. o These people are the prime minister personal staff and handle functions such as- handling the PM correspondence and schedules, speech writing, media relations, liaisons with ministers, caucus, and the party, providing advice on appointments and policy. o This agency serves as the PMs eyes and ears and has the added distinction of being able to speak on behalf of the PM. o The PMO is headed by the PM chief of staff, no other PMO non elected official is in such regular contact with the PM o Member of the PMO prep the PM on what he will be asked about during each days question period, they also create responses  Intergovernmental Affairs (Formerly the Federal-Provencal Relations Office) o The department was created when Trudeau wanted to appoint Michael Pitfeild as chief of the Privy Council, but Gordon Robertson a popular figure in government already had this position, so he created a new department to appoint Robertson the head of. Prior to this creation the functions of the Intergovernmental Affairs was carried out by the Privy Council o The FPRO never had much influence and restricted under PM John Chretien after the liberals returned to power in 1993. o The functions of the FPRO
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