Canada's representative democracy is confronting important challenges. At the top of the list is the growing inability of the national government to perform its most important roles: namely mapping out collective actions that resonate in all regions as well as enforcing these measures. Others include Parliament's failure to carry out important responsibilities, an activist judiciary, incessant calls for greater transparency, the media's rapidly changing role, and a federal government bureaucracy that has lost both its way and its standing.
Arguing that Canadians must reconsider the origins of their country in order to understand why change is difficult and why they continue to embrace regional identities, Democracy in Canada explains how Canada's national institutions were shaped by British historical experiences, and why there was little effort to bring Canadian realities into the mix. As a result, the scope and size of government and Canadian federalism have taken on new forms largely outside the Constitution. Parliament and now even Cabinet have been pushed aside so that policy makers can design and manage the modern state. This also accounts for the average citizen's belief that national institutions cater to economic elites, to their own members, and to interest groups at their own expense.
A masterwork analysis, Democracy in Canada investigates the forces shaping the workings of Canadian federalism and the country's national political and bureaucratic institutions.
About the Author: Donald Savoie holds the Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance (Tier 1) at the Université de Moncton. He has won numerous awards, including the 2016 Donner Prize for What Is Government Good At? He has been made an Officer of the Order of Canada (1993), elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1992), and received seven honorary doctorates from Canadian universities.