Political Accountability vs. Bureaucratic Autonomy: The Need for Changes in Policy-Making Procedures.

Essay by [KTF]S.E.S.University, Bachelor'sA, October 2003

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Accountability is the essence of our democratic form of government. It is the liability assumed by all those who exercise authority to account for the manner in which they have fulfilled responsibilities entrusted to them, a liability ultimately to the Canadian people owed by Parliament, by the government and thus, every governmental department and agency. Without it, power in the hands of the wrong individual or group could be abused to the extent where laws and policies could be formulated which would undermine the integrity of the Canadian population. As discussed thoroughly within this course, power is a theme integral to Canadian law and society. Legitimate, political power must be properly controlled and regulated through accountable measures otherwise social, political, and economic chaos could ensue. Canada possesses such legal measures to limit the power of those who have it, at least on the surface. Though there remains numerous legislatures and sub-governments who are deemed to create law, the bureaucracy has developed in accordance with modern, expansionist times thereby blurring the lines of authority, and power altogether.

The Canadian bureaucracy currently possesses too much, unaccounted for power with regards to policy making, and though stuck in its own cycle of procedural rigidity, new measures must be implemented in order to curtail these discrepancies with a hope of finding a more acceptable solution to enact, and advance legitimate policies. But what exactly is the bureaucracy, or a bureaucratic type society? Should Canada work towards legal, sanctioned bureaucratic integration into the political realm? Who is it exactly that makes policy in Canada? What are the specific roles then, of the cabinet, and its ministers? Does the bureaucracy entail more power then the people should allow? If so, how can it be revised in order to alleviate such discrepancies between power and accountability? All...