Canadian Government and Politics – Seventh Edition
  • Publication Date: February 24, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781554814879 / 1554814871
  • 448 pages; 8" x 10"

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Canadian Government and Politics – Seventh Edition

  • Publication Date: February 24, 2020
  • ISBN: 9781554814879 / 1554814871
  • 448 pages; 8" x 10"

Canadian Government and Politics delivers an up-to-date and concise introduction to Canada’s political institutions, processes, and issues. The text integrates theory, history, Census data, and current affairs to give students an orderly picture of the wide-ranging landscape of Canadian government and politics. This seventh edition includes coverage and analysis of the 2019 general election, as well as a preview of the new Canadian government. It also adds exciting material on Canada’s cultural landscape, institutions, and policies, along with a new chapter on Indigenous Peoples.

Other chapters examine the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government, the electoral system, bureaucracy, Québec nationalism, foreign policy, and much more. The authors provide trenchant coverage of many key issues of concern to Canadians, including regionalism, nationalism, climate change, defense policy, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, minority rights, pipelines, and the USMCA trade deal. These topics are addressed by way of fair-minded impartial discussions, aimed to foster a vital and optimistic perspective on Canadian politics that will encourage critical thinking and active citizenship.


Canadian Government and Politics is a comprehensive and thoughtful overview of the most important institutions and processes of Canadian political life. The authors demonstrate a breadth and depth of knowledge which will help students at all levels better understand their political system and the issues facing it. This is more than a textbook. It is a thematic discourse on our political system.” — Keith Brownsey, Mount Royal University

Canadian Government and Politics provides an in-depth, detailed introduction to the study of politics in Canada. The chapters move effectively between concepts and historical context, providing students new to the study of politics in Canada with the background they need, while providing enough detail to keep even the most knowledgeable readers interested. The integration of break-out definitions, ‘close-up’ examples, discussion questions, and other resources will help deepen readers’ understanding of often-complex concepts and will help students easily find the information they need. It is simply one of the best textbooks available in Canadian politics today.” — Alana Cattapan, University of Waterloo

“Jackson, Jackson, and Koop offer a no-nonsense, straightforward, accessible, and up-to-date introduction to Canadian politics and government. The text presents a comprehensive approach to the core concepts of Canadian political science supported by colourful examples and applications. The material is presented in a logical fashion, providing a useful teaching and learning path to both the instructor assigning the text and the student reading it.” — J.P. Lewis, University of New Brunswick


1 The Game of Politics

  • Learning Objectives
  • Games and Institutions
  • States and Nations
  • Politics, Power, and Institutions
  • Law and Policy
  • Types of Government: Democracy and Authoritarianism
    • Democracy: Procedural and Substantive
    • Canadian Democracy
  • Issues Canadians Argue About
  • Issues and Institutions
  • Discussion Questions

2 The Context and Ideas of Government

  • Learning Objectives
  • Shared Fundamentals
    • Geography
    • Economy
    • Demography
  • What Unites Canadians?
    • Political Culture
    • Political Values and Beliefs
    • Political Attitudes
    • Shared Political Ideas, Customs, Traditions, Symbols, and Heroes
  • What Divides Canadians?
    • Political Ideas
    • Social Identity
    • Ethnicity and Language
    • Age
    • Class
    • Region
    • Sex, Gender, and Diversity
      • Women’s Key Iss ues Today
    • Religion
  • Embracing Change
  • Discussion Questions

3 The Constitutional Framework

  • Learning Objectives
  • Constitutional Principles
    • Constitutional Laws and Conventions
    • Individual and Collective Rights
    • The Rule of Law
    • Common Law and Statutory Law
    • Key Institutional Arrangements
  • Development of the Canadian Constitution
    • British North America Act, 1867
    • Other Constitutional Documents
    • Interpreting the Constitution
    • Constitutional Amendment
  • Bringing the Constitution Home
    • Québec and Constitutional Patriation
  • The New Canadian Constitution
    • Amendment Formulas
    • Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
    • Did Canada Need a Charter?
    • What Is in the Charter?
  • The Meech Lake Accord and Langevin Amendment
    • Post-Meech Efforts at Constitutional Change
  • The Charlottetown Accord and the 1992 Constitutional Referendum
  • Discussion Questions

4 Contested Federalism

  • Learning Objectives
  • The Concept of Federalism
  • Origins of Canadian Federalism
  • The Federal–Provincial Division of Powers
    • Issues over the Division of Powers
  • Shifting Patterns of Canadian Federalism
    • From 1867 to the Late 1950s
    • The 1960s to the Early 2000s
  • Money and Federalism
    • Key Concepts: Conditional Grants, Unconditional Grants, and Spending Power
    • Key Funding Mechanisms
  • Fiscal Arrangements in Flux
    • The New Systems during Contested Federalism
    • Key Issues: Health and Social Programs
    • Liberals and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  • Discussion Questions

5 Québec Nationalism

  • Learning Objectives
  • Nationalism
    • Roots of Québec Nationalism: Early French–English Conflicts
    • The Manitoba School Issue
    • The Conscription Issue
    • Language Issues: Past and Present
  • Modern Nationalism in Québec
    • The Québec Referendum, 1980
    • Constitutional Patriation (1982) and Its Aftermath
    • The Québec Referendum, 1995
    • Federal Post-Referendum Response
    • Ottawa’s Questions and the Supreme Court’s Answers Concerning Unilateral Secession
    • Is the Constitution Merely a Red Herring?
    • Nationalism and Self-Determination
    • Québec’s Major Grievances
  • Electoral Realignment in Québec, 2018
    • Civil Rights Discord and Change in Québec
    • The State of Québec Separatism Today
  • Discussion Questions

6 Canada’s Indigenous Peoples

  • Learning Objectives
  • Background: The Royal Proclamation of 1763 to 1990
    • The Original Agreement with the British Crown
    • Confederation and the Assimilation Policy
    • Changing Course: Repatriation of the Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • The Search for Reconciliation
  • Indigenous Rights
  • Land Claims and Indigenous Rights
    • Métis Rights
  • Resource Development on Disputed Indigenous Lands
    • Coastal Gas Link
    • Northern Gateway and Trans Mountain Pipelines
  • Indigenous Self-Government
  • Other Areas of Conflict
    • Education
    • Adoptions
    • Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls
    • Indigenous Justice
  • Seeking Equality and Justice
  • Discussion Questions

7 The Executive

  • Learning Objectives
  • The Formal Executive
    • The Crown and Monarch
    • The Governor General and Lieutenant-Governors
  • The Political Executive
    • The Prime Minister
    • Canada’s Prime Ministers
    • The Prime Minister and Government
    • Cabinet
  • Minority and Coalition Governments
    • Problems with Minority Governments
  • Central Agencies
    • The Prime Minister’s Office
    • The Privy Council Office
    • The Treasury Board
    • The Department of Finance
  • Political Executives: Canada and the United States Compared
  • Does the Prime Minister Have Too Much Power?
    • Assessing Prime Ministers: Greatness or Mediocracy
  • Discussion Questions

8 Parliament

  • Learning Objectives
  • The Parliament of Canada
    • The Origins of Canada’s Parliament
    • The Functions of Canada’s Parliament
    • The Life Cycle of Parliament
  • The House of Commons
    • The Functions of the House of Commons
    • Members of Parliament
    • Rules of the House
  • Conflict of Interest and Patronage
    • The Gomery Commission
    • The Federal Accountability Act, December 2006
  • Organization and Officers of the House of Commons
    • Daily Routine in the House of Commons
  • Committees in the House of Commons
  • Passing Legislation
    • Types of Bills
    • How Laws Are Passed
  • Parties in Parliament
    • Inside Parliamentary Parties
    • Relations among Parties in Parliament
  • The Senate
    • The Functions of the Senate
    • The Senators
    • Senate Reform
    • The Supreme Court Reference Case, 2014
  • Discussion Questions

9 Public Administration

  • Learning Objectives
  • Administration, Bureaucracy, and Bureaucrats
    • Bureaucracy and Democracy
  • Structures of Federal Bureaucracy
    • Federal Government Departments
    • Government Agencies
  • Public Servants and Policy-Making
  • The Public Service
    • Who Works in Canada’s Public Service?
  • Budgets, Deficits, and Debts
  • Democratic Control of the Bureaucracy
    • Parliamentary Committees
    • Monitoring Agencies
    • Are More Reforms Needed?
  • Discussion Questions

10 The Administration of Justice and Human Rights

  • Learning Objectives
  • The Legal System
    • Courts as Arenas for Solving Disputes
    • The Organization of the Court System
    • The Changing Role of the Supreme Court: Positive or Negative?
    • The Impact of Charter Decisions on Human Rights
    • Equality and Legal Cases Since the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
      • Religious Cases
    • Politics and the Supreme Court
  • Police Forces: Enforcers of Law and Government
    • Organization of Policing
  • The Prison System: Final Recourse
    • Organization of Prisons
  • Civil Liberties, Terrorism, and Security Policy
    • Terrorism in Canada
    • The Communications Security Establishment
  • Discussion Questions

11 Parties and Interest Groups

  • Learning Objectives
  • Parties and Party Systems
    • Parties and the Party System in Canada
    • Theories about the Party System
  • Political Parties in Canada
    • The Liberal Party
    • The Conservative Party of Canada
    • The New Democratic Party
    • The Bloc Québécois
    • The Green Party of Canada
    • The People’s Party of Canada
  • Party Organization
    • Party Structure
    • Party Membership
    • Party Leaders
    • Party Financing
  • Parties at Work
    • Policy Conventions
    • Leadership Conventions and Leadership Reviews
  • Interest Groups and Movements in Canada
    • The Nature of Interest Groups
    • Interest Groups and Lobbying
    • Targets of Interest Group Activity
  • Discussion Questions

12 Elections and Political Behaviour

  • Learning Objectives
  • Federal Elections in Canada
  • The Electoral System and Its Rules
    • When Are Elections Called?
    • How Are the Number of Seats and Constituency Boundaries Determined?
    • Who Can Run and Who Can Vote?
    • Key Electoral Participants: Coaches, Players, and Referees
  • Electoral Stages: From Dissolution to a New Government
    • Electoral Preparations and the Campaign
    • The Vote
    • Who Pays for Elections?
    • Financial Rules for the 2019 General Election
    • Evaluating Electoral Financing
  • The Net Worth of a Vote: Does Canada Need a New Electoral System?
  • By-Elections
  • Referendums
  • Electoral Behaviour: Voting Patterns in Canada
    • Short-Term and Long-Term Factors in Voting Behaviour
  • Analysis of Electoral Outcomes
  • The 2019 Federal Election
    • Background
    • The 2019 Federal Election Campaign
    • Issues in the Election
    • Results and Analysis
      • Regiona l Results and Consequences
  • Media, Polls, and Elections
  • Discussion Questions

13 Canadian Global Policy

  • Learning Objectives
  • What Is Foreign Policy?
  • Economic and Trade Policy
  • Canada and Global Economics
    • Canada and the World
    • Canada and the United Nations
    • Canada’s Relations with the United States
    • Canada and Europe
    • Canada and the Pacific
  • Canadian Defence Policy
    • History and Context of Canadian Military Policy
    • The Canadian Armed Forces
    • Canada in Afghanistan
    • Recent Military Engagements
  • Discussion Questions

Further Reading
Permissions Acknowledgements

Robert J. Jackson is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Carleton University and Fletcher Jones Professor of Government at the University of Redlands. He has been employed in various senior government positions, including as Senior Policy Advisor to two Canadian prime ministers. He has published over 40 books in Canadian politics, comparative politics, and international relations.

Doreen Jackson is a writer and consultant. She has co-authored 23 books in Canadian, comparative, and world politics, including a number of widely adopted textbooks.

Royce Koop is Head of the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba. He has authored or edited several books, including Grassroots Liberals, which won the 2014 Seymour Martin Lipset Best Book Award.

  • • An in-depth introduction to the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government
  • • Discussions of important social and cultural issues throughout help students to draw connections between the everyday workings of government and their own lives
  • • Coverage of the campaigns, results, and potential impact of the 2019 general election
  • • Incorporates the newest available data from the Census and other government sources
  • • Considers the impacts of recent provincial elections
  • • Discussion of new and continuing issues in domestic and foreign policy
  • • Coverage of political issues of interest to young people, such as gender identity, political personalities, election issues, the environment, Indigenous Peoples’ rights, pipelines, military equipment, and Canada/US relations

To read a sample from Canadian Government and Politics, click here. (Opens as a PDF.)

Canadian Government and Politics, Seventh Edition has additional online material for instructors.

Instructor Site

  • • PowerPoint slides for each of the book’s chapters
  • • Supplemental quiz questions