Analysis in UBC Press & Samara Election Series - We’ve Got Some Catching Up to Do: The Public Service and the 2015 Federal Election

Twenty days after the 2015 Federal Election, UBC Press and Samara Canada have released 57 expert election analyses, written by 66 academics. This was an impressive feat that involved great leadership from the editors (Alex Marland and Thierry Giasson), the Press and Samara.

I contributed an analysis of the treatment - or rather lack of treatment - of the issue of public service renewal in the election. You can find my analysis on page 92 of the pdf, available here.

The gist: in this election, the public service was largely ignored, except where the parties fought for votes in Ottawa ridings and where public servants stepped into murky partisan territory. Oh right, and during that time when former PM Stephen Harper talked about banning niqabs in the public service. Not much of a robust conversation, a problem, I argue, given the reduced policy capacity in our federal public service and the essential role the public service plays in our democracy.


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2 Responses to Analysis in UBC Press & Samara Election Series - We’ve Got Some Catching Up to Do: The Public Service and the 2015 Federal Election

  1. As a federal public servant who spent 14 years working in Policy shops in Ottawa, and the last eight in a regional office west of Ontario, it would be appreciated if your future work could also consider the experiences of those of us outside the nation's capital. In some respects, distance protected us from the difficulties experienced by our NCR colleagues, and allowed greater latitude to try to work creatively within an increasingly constrained environment. In other respects, in combination with the centralization tsunami, we became even less connected to whatever remained of the previously vibrant policy and stakeholder relations world.

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    1. That's a great point, and applies to a lot of our research on the federal public service. It's a very Ottawa-centric field of study. The idea that the trends of the past decade were felt differently in the regions is interesting and definitely worth exploring.

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