Published: October 2010© 2010
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 176 Pages
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.05
176 Pages, 6.00 x 9.05 x 0.45 in
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In Against Reform, John Pepall offers a stringent critique of proposed reforms to Canada's political institutions. Examining electoral reform, an elected or provincially appointed Senate and reduced terms for Senators, fixed election dates, recall, initiative, and parliamentary reform, including 'free votes' and parliamentary confirmation of appointments, Pepall contends that these reforms are ill-conceived and would be harmful.
At the root of Pepall's critique is an argument that, in Canada today, too many voters are quick to blame institutions rather than their own conflicting interests and understandings when they do not receive what they want out of government. While considering influential factors such as academic and media bias, political fashion, and the American example, Pepall's unique and highly readable assessment takes aim at the practical and theoretical understandings of reform across party lines.
2. If It Ain't Broke, Fix It: Fixed Election Dates
3. Out of Proportion: Proportional Representation
4. Fun with Figures
5. The People Speak?
6. How to Vote: Some Simple Ways
7. Ontario's Quiet Referendum: Electoral Reform in Ontario
8. Parliamentary Reform
9. Cross-Purposes: Parliamentary Confirmation of Appointments
10. Perpetual Elections: Recall
11. Do It Yourself: Initiative
12. The Senate
13. Let It Be
'John Pepall's arguments 'against reform,' are passionate, witty, and persuasive. He debunks everything from public relations to fixed terms and election dates to great effect, and is wonderfully critical of the half-baked theories held dear by rationalist political scientists. Against Reform will enliven the broader political discourse with its practical wisdom and great attention paid to real-world detail.' Barry Cooper, Department of Political Science, University of Calgary