Regionalism is a political ideology based on a collective sense of place or attachment, and is discussed in terms of Canadian society, culture, economy and politics (Westfall, 3). Canada is known internationally as a nation incorporating several multiregional interests and identities into its unification of culture. Its diverse population is comprised of numerous ethnicities, religions, sexual orientations and traditions; and all resides under one federal government. Ever since the founding of Canada, it has developed into regional cleavages and identities, based on various geographical topologies, lifestyles and economic interests (Westfall, 6). It is these characteristics which make it problematic for the federal government to represent all demands of its people on a national level. Regionalism is thus an issue within regards to political proficiency in the Federal government.
Regionalism is a growing concern for Canadians` as it affects economic stability, nationalism and western alienation. The economic stability is reliant on the regions having strong economic bases (Stilborn, 19). Nationalism with Quebec is a prime example of how distinct regional cultures hinder Canada’s unity, as they want to separate from Canada, while still having the federal Canadian government financially support them. Western Alienation is also a prime political culture that is regionally distinct.
This paper will prove how regionalism is a prominent feature of Canadian life, and affects the legislative institutions, especially the Senate, electoral system, and party system as well as the agendas of the political parties the most. This paper will examine the influence of regionalism on Canada’s legislative institutions and agendas of political parties. It will explore the impact of regionalism on the Canadian Senate, electoral system, party system and the agendas of parties. Some will argue that regionalism is not an enduring feature of Canadian life and does not affect any institutions. The Senate effects Canadian life greatly as it is our upper house. It was established to represent by region has failed to do so because of its allocation of seats. This is just one example of how regionalism is a prominent feature, and what others argue is not sufficient.
The fragmentation of political life in Canada has been primarily instigated by the federal bias presented in Canada’s legislative institutions. Criticism of the lack of regional representation in our federal system has been directed to the Senate, the electoral system and the party system. The government’s failure to increase the role regions serve in its political institutions has left underrepresented provinces with little or no confidence in their government whatsoever. Canada’s most unsatisfactory and ineffective institutions are to blame for many regional complaints, the Senate.
Established by the British North America Act, 1987, the Senate of Canada was formed to be the Canadian version of the British...