'Savoie makes the compelling case that democracy and its vital institutions are weak and dangerously near collapse. His argument, detailed with academic discipline and journalistic flair in Breaking the Bargain, is that the rules and boundaries that once separated politicians and bureaucrats have been tossed in history's dumpster. Far from some dusty tome, this is dramatic stuff with real-life implications.'
'Donald Savoie has once again produced a timely and serious book. In Breaking the Bargain, Savoie has opened up the black box of government by examining the intricacies of the relationship between ministers, Parliament, and the bureaucracy... Savoie writes crisply on the history of the traditional bargain between cabinet ministers and the public service, and he evokes well the era when Canada was recognized for having one of the finest public services in the world...but the Ottawa of the Mandarinate was like Athens on the Rideau compared to the Ottawa of today with its horde of lobbyists, a media gone mad over personal scandal, a cabinet which is more like a focus group than the centre of decision-making, and public servants currying favour rather than pointing out error.'
(Thomas S. Axworthy)
About the Author
Donald J. Savoie
holds a Canada Research Chair in Public Administration and Governance at l'Université de Moncton.