Regional dynamics and federalism lie at the heart of Canadian politics. In Open Federalism Revisited, James Farney, Julie M. Simmons, and a diverse group of contributors examine the legacy of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in areas of public policy, political institutions, and cultural and economic development. This volume examines how these areas significantly affected the balance between shared rule and self-rule in Canada’s federation and how broader changes in the balance between the country’s regions affected institutional arrangements.
Open Federalism Revisited engages with four questions: 1) Did the Harper government succeed in changing Canadian federalism in the way his initial promise of open federalism suggests he wanted to? 2) How big was the difference between the change Harper’s government envisioned and what it actually achieved? 3) Was the Harper government’s approach substantially different from that of previous governments? and 4) Given that Harper’s legacy is one of mostly incremental change, why was his ability to change the system so relatively minor?
With attention to such topics as political culture, the role of political parties in regional integration, immigration policy, environmental policy, and health care, Open Federalism Revisited evaluates exactly how much changed under a prime minister who came into office with a clear desire to steer Canada back towards an older vision of federalism.
About the authors
James Farney is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Regina. He is the author of Social Conservatives and Party Politics in Canada and the United States.
Julie M. Simmons is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph.