Federalism

Federalism

by Jennifer Smith
     
 

In a world where federal states seem to exist precariously, politicians and academics from around the globe continue to look to Canada as a model of federalism. And yet, our own system of organization and governance also appears strained: Quebec nationalism, First Nations’ claims, the regionalization of party politics, and the uneven and shifting delivery

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Overview

In a world where federal states seem to exist precariously, politicians and academics from around the globe continue to look to Canada as a model of federalism. And yet, our own system of organization and governance also appears strained: Quebec nationalism, First Nations’ claims, the regionalization of party politics, and the uneven and shifting delivery of essential services have all altered the face of federal politics. Federalism explains how Canada came to be a federation (what reasons there were for it, and against it, historically); what the challenges to federalism currently are; and how we might fortify some areas of weakness in the federal system.

Jennifer Smith argues that federalism is part of the democratic problem now; however, reformed, it can be part of the solution. Since theorists disagree on the democratic credentials of federalism, it is essential to look at how a real federal system operates. Smith examines the origins of Canadian federalism and its special features, then analyzes it in relation to the benchmarks of the Canadian Democratic Audit project: responsiveness, inclusiveness, and participation. Finding that Canadian federalism falls short on each benchmark, she recommends changes ranging from virtual regionalism to a Council of the Federation that includes Aboriginal representatives.

Democracy is about more than the House of Commons or elections. It is also about federalism. This sparkling account of Canadian federalism is a must-read for students and scholars of Canadian politics, politicians and policymakers, and those who care about Canadian democracy.

University of Washington Press

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780774810616
Publisher:
University of British Columbia Press
Publication date:
08/30/2005
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

ForewordAcknowledgments1. Auditing Federalism in Canada2. Federalism and Democracy3. Canadian Federalism4. Democratic Audit of Inclusiveness in the Federal System5. Democratic Audit of Participation in the Federal System6. Democratic Audit of Responsiveness in the Federal System7. The Democratic Audit and Change in the Federal System8. The Need for ChangeDiscussion QuestionsAdditional ReadingWorks CitedIndex

University of Washington Press

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