Opening the Government of Canada presents a compelling case for the importance of a more open model of governance in the digital age – but a model that also continues to uphold democratic principles at the heart of the Westminster system. Drawing on interviews with public officials and extensive analysis of government documents and social media accounts, Clarke details the untold story of the Canadian federal bureaucracy’s efforts to adapt to new digital pressures from the mid-2000s onward. This book argues that the bureaucracy’s tradition of closed government, fuelled by today’s antagonistic political communications culture, is at odds with evolving citizen expectations and new digital policy tools, including social media, crowdsourcing, and open data. Striking a balance between reform and tradition, Opening the Government of Canada concludes with a series of pragmatic recommendations that lay out a roadmap for building a democratically robust, digital-era federal government.
1 Opening Government in the Digital Age
2 Canada’s Closed Government
3 #Fail: Adopting Social Media in the Government of Canada
4 Stephen Harper’s Open(ish) Government Initiative
5 Internal Openings in the Federal Bureaucracy
6 The Digital Skills Gap in the Federal Bureaucracy
7 The Future of Digital Government
Appendix A: Interview Index
Notes; References; Index
Amanda Clarke’s Opening the Government of Canada provides an exceptional study of how the Canadian government has responded to external and internal pressures to integrate digital into its governing practices and structures.
~Andrea Rounce, Canadian Journal of Political Science
The more I read, the more I learned and the more I enjoyed going on a journey inside the public service as it responded to digital demands.
~Alex Marland, The Hill Times