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Continuity and Change in Canadian Politics

Continuity and Change in Canadian Politics: Essays in Honour of David E. Smith

Christine de Clercy
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 260
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  • Book Info
    Continuity and Change in Canadian Politics
    Book Description:

    Change and Continuity in Canadian Politicsgets to the heart of key issues and provides important insights into contemporary Canadian government and politics.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-5708-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-2)
    H.J.M. and C.d.C.
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 3-18)

    This festschrift celebrates the distinguished career of one of Canada’s leading political scientists of the last three decades, David E. Smith, professor emeritus of political studies at the University of Saskatchewan. Professor Smith has spent his entire career at the university, situated in the midst of the prairies that make up so much of the heart of the Canadian West. From this setting, David made a lasting impression on the university, his students, his profession, and the political science scholarship on Saskatchewan, the West, Canadian federalism, and Canadian national government and politics.

    David came to the University of Saskatchewan in...

  5. 1 Constitutional Politics: In a New Era Canada Returns to Old Methods
    (pp. 19-38)

    Quietly, almost silently, Canada’s constitutional politics has entered a new era. The days when the national unity issue and attempts to resolve it dominated political life are behind us, at least for the time being. The last time we Canadians attempted a grand restructuring of our constitution was when a majority of us rejected the Charlottetown Accord in October 1992. After that, for another three years, a pending referendum on Quebec sovereignty kept the national unity issue at the top of our political agenda. Then, by the narrowest of margins, on 30 October 1995, the citizens of Quebec said no...

  6. 2 The North American Free Trade Agreement and Canadian Federalism
    (pp. 39-63)

    It is a pleasure and a privilege to contribute to this festschrift for David Smith, one of the most prolific and respected scholars in Canadian politics. While our respective research interests have frequently focused on Canada’s governing institutions, our specific contributions have remained intriguingly parallel, with David addressing the structure of and processes related to Canada’s parliamentary institutions and with my work focusing more on policies related to the Department of Finance, the Bank of Canada, and federal-provincial relations. Where our paths have crossed is where many of Canada’s social scientists have come together, namely on the national unity file....

  7. 3 Intrastate Federalism in Canada and the Civil Service
    (pp. 64-88)

    It is a rare occurrence indeed in Canada when politicians from different parties, academics, journalists, and public servants all agree on something. Regionalism, as a pervasive feature of Canadian society and politics, is one such instance. This, however, is where the agreement ends, as there is a wide divergence of views on how best to deal with the issue. Some insist that the country’s political institutions need to be updated, others look to the workings of executive federalism as the way ahead, and still others maintain that regionalism is simply a part of Canadian political life and that we must...

  8. 4 Declining Legitimacy and Canadian Federalism: An Examination of Policy-Making in Agriculture and Biomedicine
    (pp. 89-116)

    The Canadian federation is often praised for its decentralized nature. Such decentralization, it is claimed, enables different provincial and regional communities to live peacefully under the same political system. David Smith showed how Canadian federalism, as shaped by the Crown, has combined with geography and migration patterns to enable the emergence of distinctive prairie and prairie-province communities. Decentralization, Smith (1988: 112) further claims, enables distinctive and superior patterns of policy-making. Autonomous decentralized governments can experiment at a relatively low cost and innovations can be diffused countrywide through collaborative arrangements often encouraged by the central government. David Smith (1995) argues that...

  9. 5 From Collaborative Federalism to the New Unilateralism: Implications for the Welfare State
    (pp. 117-146)

    After more than ten years of bitter intergovernmental conflict and two failed attempts at constitutional reform that left executive federalism thoroughly discredited, it was widely anticipated Canada would enter a period of more harmonious federal-provincial relations in 1993. The reason for this optimism was the election of the Chrétien Liberals and their promise of a new approach to intergovernmental relations which proponents such as intergovernmental affairs minister Stéphane Dion termed collaborative federalism. In this model the federal and provincial governments would be equal, non-hierarchical partners in various policy fields, notably social policy. In theory, the two levels of government would...

  10. 6 Aboriginal Peoples and the Crown in Canada: Completing the Canadian Experiment
    (pp. 147-169)

    At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Canadian polity remains incomplete. Few Canadians fully appreciate or realize that although the three territories lying north of the 60th parallel possess much greater devolved authority than thirty years ago, the hundred thousand residents who occupy 45 per cent of Canada’s land mass do not enjoy the same constitutional right of regional self-government that Canadians who reside in the ten provinces south of the 60th parallel take for granted through their provincial governments. In a constitutional, financial, and practical sense, the three northern territories remain colonies of Canada. In a similar manner,...

  11. 7 Provincial Coalition Governments in Canada: An Interpretive Survey
    (pp. 170-194)

    Coalition governments in Canada are comparatively rare because of the very nature of the Westminster model of cabinet government operating within a single-member-plurality electoral system, colloquially known as a first-past-the-post system. As a consequence, there has been only one federal coalition government, itself established for historically unique reasons during wartime, and no coalition government experience in six of Canada’s ten provinces.

    There are, however, important exceptions in this Canadian political history. The four provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan have had coalition governments. Their coalition experiences will be summarized in order to draw some generalizations concerning the creation,...

  12. 8 The Third Phase of the Canadian Citizenship Project: Reform Objectives and Obstacles
    (pp. 195-224)

    During the past six decades the Canadian Parliament has been embarked on an historic project to develop and reform a citizenship statutory regime (Knowles, 2000; Brodie, 2002; Garcea, 2003). The project has consisted of three phases, the first of which is marked by the enactment of the 1947 Citizenship Act, the second by the enactment of the 1977 Citizenship Act, and the third by a series of protracted and unsuccessful reform efforts at enacting a new citizenship act for nearly two decades.

    Those efforts in the third phase were undertaken between 1987 and 2004 by successive Progressive Conservative governments led...

  13. 9 The Liberal Party, Insensitivity, and Western Canadian Agriculture: Does the Account Still Stand Up?
    (pp. 225-244)

    Over his distinguished and fruitful career, David Smith has elucidated the principles, functioning, and implications of the political institutions that comprise Canadian political life. The cabinet, Parliament, the caucus, the Liberal party, the Crown and our non-republican character have all received his close scrutiny. His impeccably researched and elegantly written books and articles on these subjects have illuminated, for myself and countless other students of Canadian politics, our norms and practices of governing. David’s writings on the political culture of western Canada also help us to understand the nature and source of the region’s tensions with our federal government and...

  14. 10 The West in Canada: Through the Scholarship Lens of David E. Smith
    (pp. 245-261)

    Since the first days of European settlement in western Canada there has been a vigorous and often acrimonious debate about the region’s place in the national community, one that is alive and well today. This debate raises two interesting questions. First, is there in fact a ‘West,’ a regional community that is greater than the sum of its provincial parts, that transcends quite distinctive provincial communities? And second, what is the relationship between partisan politics and regional discontent? Is the latter simply a reflection of the former, are western Canadians just sore losers in the national game of party politics?...

  15. Conclusion
    (pp. 262-270)

    As stated in the introductory chapter, the authors were not supplied with any formal content parameters beyond the general provision that chapters contributed to this festschrift ought broadly to reflect David Smith’s scholarly interests concerning Canadian federalism, political institutions, and the West. It is fascinating to consider the collection of papers assembled here. On the one hand, the papers address a considerable range of topics and issues. From Peter Russell’s survey of organic constitutional evolution to Brooke Jeffrey’s account of social policy failure to Roger Gibbins’s analysis of the transcendent West, readers encounter a wealth of information about many facets...

  16. Contributors
    (pp. 271-273)