Social Policy Essay

1630 words - 7 pages

Sweden’s System of Government
In Sweden the Prime Minister, liberal conservative Moderate Party John Fredrik Reinfeldt, and the Cabinet ministers form the system of Government (Sweden, 2014). Under the Constitution, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) makes decision and the Swedish Government and not the head of state, or the monarch, is empowered to implement the decisions (Sweden, 2014). Very similar to the three tiers of Canadian government, Sweden’s government has three levels of government: national, regional and local (Sweden, 2014)
Canada’s System of Government
Canada is a democratic constitutional monarchy, with a Sovereign as head of State, which is Queen Elizabeth II (Government of Canada, 2013). Queen Elizabeth II is the Monarch, Leader of Commonwealth, Canada’s formal Head of State and the head of both the executive and legislative branches (Government of Canada, 2013). Canada has an elected Prime Minister, currently Progressive Conservative Stephen Harper, as head of government. Canada has three tiers within a federal system of parliamentary government, in which the federal, provincial and territorial governments share responsibilities and carry out functions (Government of Canada, 2013).
Welfare State Regime’s
As a means to ensure a thorough and comprehensive comparative analysis is achieved between Canada and Sweden’s childcare policies, it is essential that I provide a social welfare regime framework for each country. I will begin by describing the three different types of welfare states, as well as provide an overview of how four key spheres interrelate within the operations of welfare regimes. Welfare state can be defined as the government’s action or inaction to support, protect (or control) citizens and this can be accomplished by implementing a collection of social policies to support or not support the well being of its citizens (Findlay, 2014). The state, as a rule, plays a dual role of protection and control and moreover this duality is based upon the states ideology and responsibility with developing and defining social policy (Findlay, 2014).
There are three forms of welfare states: liberal welfare, corporatist/conservative as well as social democratic and each of these regimes take into account the roles of the state, market, family and voluntary sector (Findlay, 2014). The liberal regime is based on the market and individual. A significant portion of responsibility for social welfare is on the individual and on the market. Within a liberal regime there is relatively low pubic investment in social programs and when there is investment it is often based on those deemed as targeted programs, or services and supports only to those with low incomes (Findlay, 2014). The liberal regime places a heavy emphasis on the importance of paid employment and often overlooks the value of social reproduction and unpaid work, such as caring for children. Canada operates as a liberal regime (Findlay, 2014) and I will later...

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