Download PDF by Meenal Shrivastava, Lorna Stefanick: Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada

By Meenal Shrivastava, Lorna Stefanick

Ahead of may well 2015, the oil-rich jurisdiction of Alberta had, for over 4 a long time, been a one-party country. in the course of that point, the guideline of the revolutionary Conservatives basically went unchallenged, with evaluations of presidency coverage falling on deaf ears and Alberta rating in the back of different provinces in voter turnout. Given the province’s fiscal reliance on oil sales, a symbiotic courting additionally built among govt and the oil undefined. Cross-national reports have detected a correlation among oil-dependent economies and authoritarian rule, a development quite obvious in Africa and the center East. Alberta Oil and the Decline of Democracy in Canada units out to check the “oil inhibits democracy” speculation within the context of an industrialized kingdom within the international North.

In probing the influence of Alberta’s strong oil foyer at the health and wellbeing of democracy within the province, participants to the amount interact with an ongoing dialogue of the erosion of political liberalism within the West. as well as interpreting strength coverage and problems with govt responsibility in Alberta, they discover the ramifications of oil dependence in components reminiscent of Aboriginal rights, environmental coverage, labour legislation, women’s fairness, city social coverage, and the humanities. If, as they argue, reliance on oil has weakened democratic constructions in Alberta, then what of Canada as complete, the place the momentary priorities of the oil proceed to form federal coverage? In Alberta, the hot Democratic occasion is able to opposite the democratic deficit that's shortly fuelling political and monetary inequality. The findings during this publication recommend that, to revitalize democracy, provincial and federal leaders alike needs to locate the braveness to slash the impression of the oil on governance.

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5 percent in 2012 (Domhoff 2013). There is overwhelming evidence that income inequality is bad for the individual, the society at large, and for the economy. For instance, income inequality has been shown to exert a significant drag on effective demand (Rajan 2010). ) suggests, the Great Divergence—the period, beginning in the late 1970s, when inequality grew dramatically in the United States—may have helped cause the recession of 2008 by pushing middle-income Americans into debt. Liberal Democracy in Oil-Exporting Countries 39 Krugman shows that the growth of household debt has followed a pattern strikingly similar to the growth in income inequality and suggests that political shifts may have led both to rising inequality and to a more vulnerable financial system.

By avoiding a North-North comparison that often assumes the strength of democracy as a given, not only do we open the door for a much richer and wider analysis of democracy in a specific jurisdiction and of democracy in oil-exporting countries of the Global North more generally, but we also eschew the normalized North-South dichotomy that informs studies of oil and democracy. The three sections of this book explore the “oil inhibits democracy” hypothesis by examining some critical aspects of liberal democracy in Alberta and Canada.

Within this context, we are concerned about how the predominance of a single resource may create special problems for creating or maintaining democratic norms. Alternatively, could it be that the threat to democracy in states dependent on the export of one commodity is another manifestation of a generalized corporate attack against democratic norms in a period characterized by a global capitalist crisis of overproduction and declining confidence in governments and institutions? In the wake of the electoral rout of the PC Party in Alberta in May 2015, this trend is manifested by the reaction of the energy industry in the media and the stock exchange (Hussain and Morgan 2015).

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