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Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics

In Governing from the Centre, author Paul Savoie argues that organizations, intended to streamline Ottawa's planning processes, instead telescope power to the Prime Minister. This shift in power has weakened the influence of ministers, traditional line departments, and even Parliament, without contributing to more rational and coherent policy-making. Is the Prime Minister still "first among equals" or simply "first"? Does all of Ottawa dance to his bidding? Redefined during the last thirty years, the centre of government currently extends itself further than ever before. Agencies such as the Privy Council Office, the Finance Department, and the Treasury Board exert their influence horizontally, deciding how policy is made and how money gets spent.
Governing from the Centre is indispensable reading for students of politics, public policy, and public administration, Ottawa watchers, journalists, lobbyists, and civil servants who want to know what is really going on.
Written by Donald J. Savoie. Published by University of Toronto Press, 1999.
0-8020-8252-1 $29.95

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Last modified: January 7, 2000

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