Federalism and Varieties of Parliamentary Democracy? Canada and Germany Compared
Le fédéralisme et les variantes de démocratie parlementaire ? Une comparaison du Canada et de l’Allemagne
In Canada and Germany, the federal system is combined with different types of parliamentary democracy: the former’s regionalized system brings about one-party governments while the latter generates coalition governments integrating federal and Länder politics. The Canadian parliamentary system thus strengthens the executive branch. Joint decisions required to change the federal constitution or to manage interdependence between all provinces are difficult to achieve, notably given the party structure. In Germany, the electoral and party system leads to coalition governments, which facilitate intergovernmental cooperation. However, significant policy innovation is rendered more difficult. In addition, the recent fragmentation of the party system undermines intergovernmental cooperation. What lessons can be drawn for Canadian federalism from the evolution of the party system in other federations, particularly Germany?