Neoliberal Parliamentarism: The Decline of Parliament at the Ontario Legislature
Published: November 2021© 2021
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 264 Pages
Illustrations: 4 b&w tables
Dimensions: 6.00 x 9.00
264 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 4 b&w tables
Ebook - PDF
In Neoliberal Parliamentarism, Tom McDowell provides an alternative approach to understanding the decline of parliament at the Ontario legislature, an approach that highlights the politics of neoliberalism and the significant impact it has had over the last four decades.
McDowell offers a structural critique of parliament, claiming that restrictions on the legislature cannot be separated from the ascendance of neoliberalism as the dominant social and policy paradigm in the province. Tracking the evolution of procedure at the Ontario Legislature from 1981 to 2021, McDowell shows that, beginning in the early 1980s, the establishment of increasingly restrictive procedural rules was critical in securing the passage of controversial neoliberal restructuring policies. Further, he argues that the decades-long shift towards de-democratization and the concentration of political power in the executive ought to be understood in the context of neoliberalism’s rejection of parliamentary sovereignty and legal positivism.
As an in-depth study of the implementation of neoliberalism policy on the political apparatus of Ontario, Neoliberal Parliamentarism is critical reading for scholars and students interested in the relationship between neoliberalism and de-democratization, the politics of Ontario, and parliamentary procedure more broadly.
2. Neoliberalism and The Concentration of Political Power
3. The Origins of Neoliberal Parliamentarism: The Davis Years, 1981-1984
4. Ontario in Transition: The Peterson Era, 1985-1990
5. “Democracy Under Seige”: The NDP’s Neoliberal Turn and The Decline of Parliament at Queen’s Park, 1990-1995
6. Revolution at the Ontario Legislature, 1995-2003
7. Consolidating A Revolution: The Liberal Years, 2003-2018
8. “Common Sense” Austerity Returns to Ontario: The Ford Government, 2018-2020
9. Parliament in The Age of Authoritarian Neoliberalism
"Neoliberal Parliamentarism cuts across numerous domains of political science. There are many casual discussions about the decline of parliamentary government, but seldom is this documented in the meticulous detail that this study undertakes. There are even fewer accounts linking the curtailment of democratic deliberation with the formation of the neoliberal policy regime and the spread of authoritarian practices.. Tom McDowell has made an indispensable contribution to the study of the current practices and limits of parliamentary democracy and to Ontario and Canadian politics."Greg Albo, Associate Professor of Political Science, York University
"A political economy analysis of parliamentary procedure? Unconventional, to be sure, but in Neoliberal Parliamentarism it proves insightful. Anchored in a sophisticated theoretical understanding of the nature and goals of neoliberalism, McDowell’s comprehensive account of changes to legislative practices and rules at the Ontario Legislature in recent decades convincingly demonstrates that the decline of parliament is both real and deeply concerning."Graham White, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Toronto
- Short-listed - 2022 Donald Smiley Prize
awarded by The Canadian Political Science Association