Journal of
Public Administration and Policy Research

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Adm. Policy Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2480
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPAPR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 145

Full Length Research Paper

The need for executive federalism in federal-provincial relations: The Canadian example

Clement Akwasi Botchway
  • Clement Akwasi Botchway
  • University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 03 January 2017
  •  Accepted: 22 February 2017
  •  Published: 31 December 2017


Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s championing of a new course of federal-provincial relations in Canada away from the traditional executive federalism has drawn a lot of scholarly concerns. His open federalism doctrine has been touted by many as the future of federalism in Canada as a way of ensuring popular inclusion, participation, and grass root representation. While agreeing to the need to ensuring openness and eliminating secrecy in the democratic dispensation, this paper argues that Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s watertight federal-provincial model, if left unchecked, could be very detrimental in accommodating diversity and pluralism, and the quest of defining a true national identity. In this regard, the paper argues among other reasons that executive federalism is not an enemy to democracy, and that the roles it has played in the Canadian example is worthy of emulation in federal countries in Africa and the globe at large.

Key words: Federalism, elite accommodation, Canada, cooperation, consensus.