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Value Change and Governance in Canada

Value Change and Governance in Canada

Edited by Neil Nevitte
Series: Trends Project
Copyright Date: 2002
Pages: 256
  • Book Info
    Value Change and Governance in Canada
    Book Description:

    Significant shifts in the dynamics of citizen?state relations have taken place throughout the advanced industrial world over the last two decades. A growing body of evidence suggests that these reorientations are shaped by value changes among publics.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-8300-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Preface
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Laura A. Chapman
  6. Contributors
    (pp. xiii-2)
  7. 1. Introduction: Value Change and Reorientation in Citizen–State Relations
    (pp. 3-36)
    Neil Nevitte

    Significant shifts in the dynamics of citizen–state relations have taken place throughout the advanced industrial world over the last two decades or so, and a growing body of evidence suggests that these reorientations have been shaped by value changes among publics. On these two broad themes there is a consensus.¹ But this consensus fragments when it comes to providing answers to second-order questions, such as What are the causes of these transformations? What are the most important dimensions of these value changes? What are their implications? and How can the consequences of some of these shifts be addressed?


  8. 2. Satisfaction with Democracy: The Canadian Paradox
    (pp. 37-70)
    Richard Nadeau

    In the mid-1970s, many political scientists thought the Western democracies were on the verge of a profound legitimacy crisis.¹ There is less pessimism today, but for many, the current conjuncture does not evoke much optimism. The dissolution of the communist world deprives the democracies of a favourable comparison,² the tone of the mediaʹs coverage of governmental activity is increasingly negative,³ and the citizens of Western democracies now show less confidence and respect towards political institutions and actors than in the past.⁴

    This chapter seeks to determine whether the citizens of Western democracies, under todayʹs circumstances, remain satisfied with the performance...

  9. 3. Political Discontent, Human Capital, and Representative Governance in Canada
    (pp. 71-106)
    Mebs Kanji

    Evidence from a number of advanced industrial states suggests that attitudes toward representative democracy are in a state of flux: confidence in governmental institutions has declined¹ and mistrust in politicians has become increasingly widespread.² Trends such as these threaten to make governing more difficult³ and could bear serious consequences for the future of political support.⁴ Eroding faith in governmental institutions and political authorities may detract from peopleʹs satisfaction with representative democracy⁵ and could worsen perceptions of system responsiveness,⁶ which in turn may further suppress the desire to vote.⁷

    On the other hand, growing frustrations with governmental institutions and authorities could...

  10. 4. Civic Engagement, Trust, and Democracy: Evidence from Alberta
    (pp. 107-148)
    Lisa Young

    There is considerable attitudinal and anecdotal evidence suggesting that Canadians have grown increasingly disenchanted with the quality of democratic life in the country over the past three decades. Public-opinion surveys report dissatisfaction with the quality of democracy, discontent with the quality of political representation, and growing support for direct democracy.¹ Certainly the behaviour of the Canadian electorate through the 1990s suggests little support for politics as usual: the Charlottetown Accord was defeated in a national referendum, and the national party system was shattered by the emergence of what appeared at the time to be two regional protest parties in the...

  11. 5. Canadiansʹ Shrinking Trust in Government: Causes and Consequences
    (pp. 149-164)
    Neal J. Roese

    This chapter confirms that Canadians are increasingly less trusting of the Canadian government, but also that this trend is common to other Western industrial nations. If trust is indeed decreasing among Canadians, an important issue for the next century is the means by which the government might regain the publicʹs trust. The evidence suggest that declining trust is not a product of general isolation or disenfranchisement, but on the contrary is related to increasing feelings of empowerment and also increasing political activism among Canadians. Attempts to regain the publicʹs trust should be cognizant of, but possibly also capitalize on, the...

  12. 6. Citizens and Legislators: Different Views on Representation
    (pp. 165-206)
    David C. Docherty

    The image of the highly regarded politician, dutifully attending to local interests while at home, thinking and debating national interests while in Ottawa, is at best a vague memory in the minds of many Canadians, and more likely strange fiction in the minds of others. Elected officials – municipal, provincial, territorial, or federal – are not among the best respected members of Canadian society. Evidence of the plight of politicians in the publicʹs mind is hard to escape. Polls in Canada have consistently shown that Canadians do not trust politicians or respect the institutions in which they serve. Other studies...

  13. References
    (pp. 207-218)