The Modern Role of Political Staff

Political staffers, aides, and “exempt staff” are too often maligned in Canadian politics. Neither elected nor independently hired on merit, and with salaries paid by government revenues, they have exclusive access to elected officials at the very heart of decision-making. Despite their reputation as shadowy figures wielding undue power, in reality, staffers perform a plethora of crucial tasks: from coordinating and ensuring delivery on electoral mandates and advising politicians, to communicating political decisions and engaging with stakeholders.

What does the TPP deal mean for environmental protection?

Jordann Thirgood On October 5, 2015, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal was officially struck between 12 nations that surround the Pacific Ocean. If all countries choose to ratify, this will create the world’s largest free trade zone, impacting 800 million people and totaling a trade value of $28.5 trillion – approximately 40 per cent of […]

The Philosophical Underpinnings of Transparency

Alex Bednar The basic premise of government of the people, by the people, for the people is a tradition that Western Democrats take for granted. What we on the one hand suggest is a basic principle of our governance, and which has its roots in a long tradition of struggles and challenges, is often quietly […]

Fake Policy Places: What happens when policy doesn’t have a home?

Vass Bednar Policy-makers work hard to make sure that there is clear accountability for a range of distinct policy domains: health, education, infrastructure, finance, and the environment are traditional examples. They (we) then add the word “policy” after these departments: health policy, education policy, infrastructure policy, finance policy, environment policy, to describe accordant regulations and […]