Abstract and Keywords
The key function of representative democracy is to provide a mechanism through which public opinion and public policy are regularly connected. On one hand, there should be policy representation; public preferences for policy should be reflected in policy itself. And on the other hand, there should be public responsiveness; public preferences should be informed and should react to public policy. Policy representation is important in everyday politics. Failure of adequate policy representation may result on disaffection of the public for the government. This article discusses the evidence of representation of public preferences in the Canadian federal policy. It discusses the substance of the preferences and determines whether these preferences adjust to the policy itself. The article also discusses thermostatic public responsiveness, whereby public preferences for policy change reflect changes in policy.
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