Pros And Cons Of The Devolution Of Power In Northern Region

1539 Words7 Pages
Make an argument for and against the devolution of power in Northern Region
Introduction
Today, running state affairs and managing public sector are fast evaporating from the government to other peripheral authorities within and outside the government circles. Notably, decentralization of authority is on the rise, devolution of power to sub-national governments and governance (Bevir, 2012:4) are adding to the shifting paradigm in state powers.
This paper looks at the pros and cons of devolution of power in Finmark Norway and the three northern Canadian territories Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Of crucial importance, is the dynamic interplay between the decentralization of power, the emergence ‘governance in northern governments’
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Most of these political institutions are paternalized from colonial constructs and they have either failed woefully or underperformed in delivering the social promises and essential services to the northern peoples (Coates & Poelzer, 2014). Thus, the devolution of power is crucial to empowering northern people take greater control of their own affairs, to manage and use their local resources to provide essential services to suit their local needs.
Is there any tangible justification for devolving power to the Northern People?
Devolution of power to sub-national government, has become a contemporary discourse not just in the North but across many other regions of the world (Coates &Poelzer, 2015:5). Although the reasons for devolving power may vary in different societies (Coates & Poelzer, 2014:11), but the justifications for devolving power in the north are similar in many respects.
Devolution of power in the north seek to ‘bring government and governance to northern people (Coates & Poelzer, 2014:7). Devolution is a significant step, towards self-governance for northern people. Finmark in Norway (Sandberg, 2006:10-14), Inuit in Greenland (Peter, 2013:77) and Canadian first nations (Coates & Poelzer, 2014:2) are experiencing and may continue experience devolution in new areas in the
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The implication of governance on government is that, the procedure for making political decisions that affect that public life have become expanded and more stakeholders are brought on board. Confining government and governing to the domain of federal and provincial authorities in Canada to the exclusion of national governments is neither sustainable nor possible today.
Governance as a form of devolution in the north, have resulted in the direct and or indirect transfer of decision making powers and resources to act in that capacity from the Canadian government to aboriginal governments in Canada. Devolution of political authority to sub-national government, is also believed to promote local autonomy, strengthen equitable the distribution and transfer of wealth to sub-national governments representing indigenous people in Canada’s north (Coates & Poelzer, 2014:5).
Canada’s failure to meet up its social contract responsibilities to its aboriginal population, plus the continued frustrations of aboriginal people over the continued extraction of resources within aboriginal territories (Coates & Poelzer, 2014:10) on large scale without the aboriginal people being able to significantly influence the process or get a fair share of the benefits make a good case, for the political revolution that accentuated devolution of power in Canada’s
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