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Canadian Politics

A17(c) - Assessing the Policy Performance of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government: Retrospective, Prospective or Gyroscopic Mandate Assessments - Panel 2

Date: Jun 6 | Time: 10:30am to 12:00pm | Location: SWING 109

Chair/Président/Présidente : Lisa Birch (Université Laval)


Session Abstract: Democratic mandate theory has many variants models of representation varying from promissory, to anticipatory to gyroscopic or surrogate representation (Mansbridge, 2003). These theoretical models of representation have different implications for governing party behavior and for the ways in which citizens hold them accountable and make voting decisions. They also have different implications for how political parties construct their campaign platforms. The Trudeau government’s decision to hire Michael Barber, to implement his "deliverology" model and to create the Mandate Letter Tracker suggests that the Trudeau government may prioritize promissory representation. Yet, over the course of a four-year period, unanticipated events forced issues onto the government’s agenda and led to decisions. The Trudeau polimeter tracks the 353 promises identified in the platform. As of early September 2018, 42% of promises are rated as kept, 39% as kept in part or in the works, 4 % as broken and 15% are not yet rated. However, in an era of permanent campaigns, political marketing, and new political governance, one may well question the very nature of election promises. Some promises may target specific market segments and others may be more or less salient to citizens. Which model of representation best accounts for the actions of the Trudeau government since it came to power in October 2015? What role, if any, did deliverology play? Does it matter which promises are kept and which promises are broken? We propose 4 panels, linked to a collective book to be published in both official languages.


Budget and Fiscal Measures for a Stronger Middle Class: Geneviève Tellier (Université d'Ottawa), Cheick Alassane Traoré (University of Ottawa)
Abstract: Two big ideas in the financial framework of Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party during the election campaign were to align revenue growth with spending growth each year to run a modest deficit and balance the budget by the end of the mandate. In fact, spending growth will have been greater than income growth. The gap has meant abandoning the promises to run a modest deficit and to balance the budget in 2019-20 even though most promises to spend more for the middle class and families have been kept.


Jobs, Innovation, Infrastructures & the Economy : Did Trudeau Deliver?: Marcelin Joanis (Polytechnique Montréal)
Abstract: This chapter finds that, although the Trudeau government has delivered on several campaign promises about infrastructure, jobs and the economy, the pressure to adapt to changing economic conditions and a constantly evolving international situation has led to several important initiatives that are not found in the Liberal platform.