Breaking the Bargain: Public Servants, Ministers and Parliament, Donald J. Savoie, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2003, pp. xiv, 337
Most of us have been taught, and have taught, about the traditional relationship between public servants, ministers and parliaments under the Westminster tradition of government. Ideas like the accountability of the neutral, non-partisan, anonymous senior public servant to his minister, and concepts like ministerial responsibility and collective cabinet responsibility to Parliament, and the oversight and legislative role of Parliament, are part of what Donald Savoie calls the traditional bargain that underpins the political and administrative process in Canada. The central thesis of this book is that this traditional bargain has been broken and a new bargain needs to be struck if our system of responsible government is going to continue to function effectively.