What’s Come to Pass in Governing Past the Next Election?

3 minute read

By Brad Graham, Vice-President, Toronto

In August, we launched Governing Past the Next Election, a series examining the critical challenges facing Canada and a new government. In partnership with Ipsos, we have been merging their survey-based opinion data with our expertise and insights into governance.

So far, we’ve covered Canadian values, debt and deficits, climate change, and health care.

Does Canada Need More Canada?
By Brad Graham, Vice President, Toronto, Institute of Governance

There is a growing divide in Canadian society on complex policy issues, resulting in increasingly polarized political debate. We face an erosion of trust in, and support for, government and its institutions, conventions and practices. This growing decline in Canadian social cohesion is putting the ability of governments to find shared and workable solutions at risk. The article notes that our values of fairness, diversity, inclusion, tolerance and equity are at odds with this state of political affairs, and sets the stage for the articles that will follow. Read more.

Debt and Deficits: The Elephant in the Vault
by Jim Marshall, Lecturer and Executive in Residence Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Regina

Political parties seem to be avoiding a serious discussion on debt and deficits. Talking about reducing the debt is often seen as admitting that they want to cut back government services. It may call into question their ability as political parties to deliver on finely-honed election platforms—whether they call for new spending or tax cuts. Alternatively, if a party views the debt and deficits as unimportant, then it is interpreted as disregarding the need for prudence with taxpayer money. In the end, political parties find it easier to fall back on political orthodoxy and blame others for real or imagined mistakes. Debt and deficits do matter, especially for future generations. Read more.

The Climate is Changing; Why Can’t the Debate? By Dr. Warren Mabee, Associate Dean and Director of the School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University.

The issue of climate change has been at the front of many policy conversations as we head into the 2019 federal election. Canadians are increasingly united on the need for a significant and credible plan to fight climate change, but remain divided on an appropriate strategy. Instead of trying to build consensus and support for broader, meaningful solutions, political parties are exploiting this divide. Dr. Mabee argues that any new government will have to openly and transparently bring forward demonstrably effective policies to win public support. Read more.

The Future of Health Care – Will that be One Tier or Two?
By Brad Graham, Vice President, Toronto, Institute of Governance

What is the future of the Canadian health care system? There is a large and looming fiscal pressure coming which could undermine the very principles on which the system is based. However, the future of medicare does not appear to be on the political agenda during this election. The federal government’s leadership was crucial in establishing medicare, and it will be crucial again if we are to save one of Canada’s most cherished institutions. Read more,

We will release several more issues of the Governing Past the Next Election series as we near election day on October 21.

About the author

Brad Graham

Brad Graham

Vice President, Toronto

Brad Graham is Vice President of the Institute on Governance (IOG), Toronto. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. An economist, Brad spent 25 years in the Ontario Public Service including as Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ministries of Public Infrastructure, Municipal Affairs and Housing, and Research and Innovation. He held other senior positions in the Ministries of Health and Finance. Brad Graham was awarded Ontario’s Amethyst Award for excellence in public service.