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Sep 2018 | The Future of Public Service Delivery

STRONG COMMUNITIES, STRONG CANADA: A CASE FOR NEW FEDERALISM
KATE GRAHAM, WESTERN UNIVERSITY

Experts are ringing the alarm bells over the state of local democracy in Canada. In a recent book, Accountability and Responsiveness at the Municipal Level, academics argue three facts should be cause for concern about democracy at the local level: lower voter turnout, high re-election rates for incumbents, and a tarnished public image of local politics. As indicators of the health of a democracy, the data doesn’t look good. Fewer than half of eligible voters typically turn out in municipal elections. New candidates, particularly from marginalized groups, continue to face barriers to entering politics. Trust and confidence in government have eroded to abysmal levels.

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