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Leisure & Canadian Democracy

by Colin Cordner


The general purpose of this paper is to communicate a selection of the authour’s observations and suggestions regarding the practice of democratic politics within Canada. It is principally a response to the observations made and remedies given within the Canadian Democratic Audit series, in which it was noted that a marked decrease in the electoral turnout had occurred by the time of the elections of the 1990’s -- a trend that continued into the opening-years of the 21st century.

In particular, this paper will cast its eye upon a very select series of observations made by several authours of the audit series -- that the practical quality and quantity of leisure enjoyed by Canadian citizens has been on the decline, and that this decline has reflected negatively in both the democratic participation of citizens within the polity and, consequently, in the responsiveness of the Canadian governments to their political demands.

With regards to this trend in leisure, David Docherty,in Legislatures, has observed that the most promising path for the political participation of citizens lay through vehicle of legislative committees, but that, paradoxically, few have the time and means to do so1 . Gildengil et al , in Citizens, add to this vein in their observation that citizens increasingly lack the time required for political participation in the post-Mulrooney era, and, furthermore, are increasingly redirecting their spare moments to the engagement in passive, non-political, leisure activities2. Davin Barney, in Communications Technology, notes this same trend, and posits the ascendance of neo-liberal ideology as its contemporary source3, whilst Jennifer Smith, in Federalism, looks to the history of Canada’s constitution and observes that a fundamental prejudice in favour of the political participation of a leisured elite finds its source in times long before the federation’s inception4 .

Thus, it is the topic of leisure in Canadian society that shall be the scope of this essay, however, as we shall see, much disagreement exists within the literature as to the nature of the subject, and its effects upon political societies. Therefore the investigation will continue in a manner in which, first, an accepted definition of “leisure” will be brought to bear, along with an explanation of the subject’s relationship to politics and to governance. Secondly, having thus properly defined its nature, we will necessarily consult the empirical studies of public, national and international sources in order to discern the depth and breadth of the subject’s presence in Canadian society as a whole. These shall constitute both the qualitative and quantitative studies of leisure among Canadian citizens, and, having been presented, will form the basis for findings and suggestions as to how leisure may or may not be used to form the basis for a renewal of Canadian democracy.

Literature Review

Leisure is a word of no short history, and, it is surprising to learn, of no mean significance within Western society. With origins stemming as far into humanity’s shadow as ancient Greece (in the word scholé) the concept of leisure has been, at once, considered either a noun or a verb, a thing or an action, and else either a boon or a bane to both politics and societal order; quite a sordid history for such a simple pair of syllables!

In the contemporary, English vernacular, leisure is most often used in the noun form -- leisure is something that either one has or does no have, either now or in the future. In less common cases, particularly within the developed world of societies possessed of a so-called “Protestant” work-ethic5, leisure is a word sometimes employed as a pejorative adjective -- to be a “leisured woman” is synonymous with being a lay about, an unproductive member of society who lives by means other than one’s own labour6. Moreover, it very neatly implies a hedonistic lifestyle, bereft of meaning, while only subtly implying a certain amount of sexual deviancy. Much less commonly, leisure is employed as a verb -- that is to say, as a word describing an action -- but, interestingly, it is a usage that is very nearly antiquated in nature; to say that one is “engaging in leisure” or “leisuring” is almost to employ an earlier, more Victorian dialect that seems rather quaint in the late-modern era.

What then is “leisure” and how does it impact politics? As we can already intuit, a great deal of contradictory implications have accrued within our understanding of the word itself, and earlier, nearly antiquated meanings seem to persist in our collective background. The definition of the word, however, is rather incidental. What is much more significant to note is the nature of the subject being described, and, as we have seen, differences of opinion exist as to whether leisure is in essence good or bad, good or bad to what degree, and whether it is better or worse than other subjects such as “work”. Thus, we return to the first question of whether is leisure is good or bad in any practical instances, and, in particular, in relation to politics and democracy. Fortunately, it is not a question that has gone unnoticed.

Kaplan had this to say about the subject:

“The third part of the day, in which the ancient Greeks sought some fulfillment of themselves as human beings, comprised the activity that the Greeks called schoé [trans: leisure]. Here the Greeks sought not so much a liberation from work as a liberation from necessity: business and labor provide what is necessary and useful in life, but leisure provides the opportunity to develop the actions and the part of the soul that are honorable. Aristotle writes of the distinctive value of leisure:

'For men must be able to engage in business and go to war, but leisure and peace
are better; they must do what is necessary and indeed what is useful, but what is
honourable is better. On such principles children and persons of every age which
requires education should be trained.'

Not only have we lost sight of the important distinction between useful and leisurely pursuits, we have curiously inverted the place of public and private that the Greeks first imagined. Restoring both these distinctions, I want to argue, might serve to revitalize our sense of the possibilities of public life...

...Instead of seeing leisure as the absence of work, the Greeks felt that work was the absence of leisure: we are busy (ascholozimetha, "not at leisure"), says Aristotle, so that we may have leisure (scholizomen). Aristotle enjoined the legislator to consult the activities of leisure as the guiding principle of a good constitution...

...[After all] Leisure is not just time off from work, it is a reflective activity that we must learn."
-- (Kaplan, p435-41)

Kaplan thus transmits to his audience the perennial definition of leisure as not only a good, but as that time in which we, as human beings, have ceased to toil for the necessities of life, and have begun to engage in activities that we perceive to be self-improving, public goods.

In contrast to Kaplan’s perennial philosophy, Kuic draws out, through Hannah Arendt, an opposing perspective of leisure (and, not incidentally, of politics) that is voiced by the fathers of both modern capitalism and socialism:

“Thus, as Hannah Arendt put it, while for Adam Smith work was the source of all wealth, for Marx it became the expression of the very humanity of man.* At the same time, while Adam Smith regarded government and politics as unproductive, if not as sheer waste, Marx again went a step further and predicted their complete disappearance in the ideal communist society”. -- (Kuic, p. 442)

Here we see both a definition of leisure (that which not a necessity of life, and thus not work or preparation for work) that is almost wholly negative, as well as a perhaps rare point of normative agreement between Marx and Smith. More interestingly, however, is the view of politics as unproductive non-work. Here again we may perceive the perennial view that politics is a leisure pursuit, but we see it now defined, as with other forms of leisure, as a distraction. Kuic goes further in observing that for the Honourable Edmund Burke:

“[For Burke,]In other words, all premodern political theory held that being engaged in any kind of labor or work disqualified a man from political life and that to be in politics men had to have leisure.” -- (Kuic, p.442)

In spite of the overly aristocratic disdain for manual labour held by Burke, we nevertheless may see the continuation of an argument continued by Stocks in his appropriately titled Scholé: "In Aristotle we have the significant reference to the proverb 'there is no leisure for slaves'> .(1334a 20).7 That is to say, a human being engaged in work is not engaged in leisure, and, ergo, cannot participated in politics qua politics; time spent in pursuit of work comes at the expense of leisure pursuits, politics inclusive.

What we may take from these sources, thus, is the qualification of leisure as an action, or range of activities, that one requires time to pursue. Furthermore, these activities are separate from work -- defined as activity in pursuit of the necessities for life -- or activities related to work, such as commuting or the purchasing essential groceries. In the absence of leisure, it is argued, there is only work, and work is anathema to politics.

Putnam and Coleman, in contrast, approach the dichotomy of work and leisure from a separate path. While stressing the importance of civil society in the health and evolution of society, Coleman rehabilitates work to a limited extent by indicating its potential as an avenue for the development of social-networks that are ultimately conducive to politics and political-society:

“An important form of social capital is the potential for information that inheres in social relations. Information is important in providing a basis for action. But acquisition of information is costly. At a minimum, it requires attention, which is always in scarce supply. One means by which information can be acquired is by use of social relations that are maintained for other purposes. Katz and Lazarsfeld (1955) showed how this operated for women in several areas of life in a midwestern city around 1950.”-- (Coleman, p. 104)

For Coleman, these “relations that are maintained for other purposes” need not necessarily be leisure activities, and neither must the fruits of those activities, which may include such things as the establishment of a new business (essentially the creation of more work) or gathering information for the best deal on essential goods. Putnam, however, places greater emphasis on public leisure activities, and their importance to political participation and good government, by referring to the example of newly-established regional governments in Italy in the 1970s:

“Some regions of Italy, such as Emilia-Romagna and Tuscany, have many active community organizations. Citizens in these regions are engaged by public issues, not by patronage. They trust one another to act fairly and obey the law. Leaders in these communities are relatively honest and committed to equality. Social and political networks are organized horizontally, not hierarchically. These "civic communities" value solidarity, civic participation, and integrity. And here democracy works.” -- (Putnam, p. 8)

Here then, we see some disagreement to the extent to which work is a hindrance to politics; moreso than Putnam, Kuic, or Kaplan,Coleman allows room for the potential of work as a setting and activity that may allow for the generation of social networks. Where the four seemingly converge in opinion is on the need for leisure-time to bring political, democratic potential to fruition; without time away from the pursuit of the necessities of life, there is no time for politics or democracy. However, as we might note, politics has not been contended to be the only form of leisure available to mankind. Among both perennial and modern political theorists, such varied activities as athletics, theater, non-political debates, poetry readings, concerts, active charity, and even religion qualify as particular instances of the verb leisure.

It should furthermore be noted that both Putnam and Coleman distinguish themselves from the others by stressing that all public leisure (ie. leisure partaken with others) is ultimately conducive to politics -- or at least potentially conducive to politics. For, while both scholars stress the necessity of healthy, ongoing civic ties as the cement on which functional political societies are built, such a healthy foundation comes is only useful as a means to democratic expression if it is both chosen to be used as such, and if the sufficient time is allocated to such use. In order to come to meaningful conclusions as to the impact of leisure upon Canadian democracy, it thus imperative to turn our gaze to a qualitative and quantitative examination of how Canadian leisure-time is put into action, and how much comes into their possession.

Thus, we are granted three significant definitions, by our literature sources, that must be borne in mind throughout the remainder of this study -- one of leisure, one of work, and one of recreation. Work shall be defined as such activity that is conducted as a means to fulfill the material exigencies of life, which shall include economically productive acts, acts taken to secure the essential well being of the actor and of the actor’s household and dependents, and acts undertaken for the sake of the previous categories of work, i.e. travel undertaken to purchase food, or to work at a job-site. We shall take leisure to mean such non-work activities that occur within the public sphere and that are conducive to the accumulation of social capital, i.e. volunteering one’s time and energy to a charity, or playing in a community sports team. Recreation, by contrast, shall refer to activities that are not work, but which are either conducted in the private-sphere, or else are not conducive to the accumulation of social capital, i.e. watching television, or reading a book.


Given the definition of leisure put forth by our literary sources and their acceptance of its part as a fundamental of political action and democratic expression, taken in conjunction with the downward trends in Canadian electoral and overall political participation that have been noted as part of the Canadian Democratic Audit, it behooves us that the remainder of this paper be concerned with the exploration of one central hypothesis:

Does the downward trend in political participation by Canadian citizens correlate with a quantitative reduction in leisure-time -- herein defined as time allocated exclusively to leisure activities?

Does the downward trend correlate in any way to qualitative changes in the choice of leisure activities selected by Canadians?

Having then reviewed relevant empirical sources in order to determine the quantity of leisure-time available to Canadians across a breadth of time, and correspondingly determined the distribution of that time to various activities, it will be necessary to conclude as to whether our thesis bears true. Thus, we shall take the presence of either or both of the following to indicate possible links between leisure and political trends within Canada:

A strong correlation between the quantitative reduction in leisure-time and the measurable reduction in political participation.

A strong correlation in the qualitative allocation of free-time (non-work time) to specific forms of leisure and recreation that are not accepted by our sources as being either political or conducive to political action, and the measured trends in political participation.

It shall be our explicit hypothesis that a quantitative reduction in leisure-time has occurred, and that this shall be demonstrable in the number of hours reported by Canadians as having been dedicated to leisure activities. We shall also hypothesize that a qualitative change has occurred in the leisure of Canadian s, which is to say that leisure-time has increasingly been dedicated to activities that are less conducive to politics or else which are purely recreational in nature.

Data & Method

In the attempt to measure trends in leisure-time and activity in Canadian society, we are led repeatedly to a handful of authoritative sources for data. Fortunately, while the breadth of parties that have measured such facts is not wide, they are of no small depth: our principal sources for such information are the federal government of Canada’s own Statistics Canada (StatsCan), the United Nations’ Statistics Division (UNSD), and the statistics division of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Unfortunately, we are somewhat hampered by two obstacles.

Firstly, only the Canadian government has deigned to both collect and disseminate detailed information regarding leisure activities. Secondly, both the UNSD and OECD have only made available, studies of the quantitative allocation of economically productive time (for our purposes, remunerated work-time), and time spent on household, child-rearing, or elder-care (unremunerated work-time). Thus, extrapolating leisure-time from UNSD and OECD figures is primarily a function of subtracting both remunerated and remunerated work-time, together with an average eight hours of sleep, from a twenty-four hour daily schedule.

For reasons that we take to be obvious, this schema proves less than satisfactory, as it does not take into account variations in sleep patterns, time spent preparing for work (ie. commuting, acquiring materials or equipment for work, etceteras) nor the qualitative nature of the time remaining (ie. whether the time remaining is allocated to non-active rest or leisure activity). For these reasons, we shall necessarily refer principally to the studies conducted by StatsCan, and use the figures supplied by the OECD and UNSD as a supporting source.

Canadian Leisure-time in 2007

Firstly, with regards to average leisure-time among Canadians, the researchers of StatsCan provide us with the following data for Canadians of ages sixteen and up:


At first glance, we seem to have successfully extracted leisure-time figures from the StatsCan report, however, appearances are deceptive. However, upon closer examination of the data, it becomes evident that there is a disjunction that separates the StatsCan definition of “free-time” and our accepted definition of leisure. Firstly, time spent volunteering or engaged in civic activities is not included in the StatsCan definition of free-time -- it is calculated separately. Secondly, and just as importantly, the StatsCan figure on cumulative free-time does not distinguish between what our sources would define as leisure-activity -- activity in the public sphere -- and private relaxation or idleness.

Seeing as neither Putnam, Coleman, Kuic, Kaplan or Stokes (to say nothing of Aristotle) would accept watching prime-time television as leisure or public-sphere activity, we must engage in further work to extract meaningful data for our purposes.

As should be apparent, when we apply our refined definition of leisure-time to the StatsCan data, there is a clear shift downwards, indicating a slight tendency among Canadians to engage in purely private-sphere activities. On average, Canadians reported spending 2.7 hours per day engaged in activities such as watching television, reading, and other forms of passive activity. By contrast, they reported spending an average of 4.6 hours per day in social activities that may tentatively be described as belonging to the public-sphere. However, this figure includes such activities as dining at restaurants; dining in private-residences with friends, colleagues or family; “other” forms of public or private socialization; and such quasi-civic activities as watching sports, movies, or other entertainment events as part of a live audience8 .

If we re-weigh these figures to exclude quasi-civic activities, the results are rather striking -- leisure-time is reduced from an average of 4.6 hours per day to 1.9. The difference for working Canadians is even more interesting; they, on average, spent only 1.5 hours per day engaged in activities we would classify as the sort of leisure that is most likely to support the growth of civil-society networks.

Perhaps most shocking, however, Canadian women consistently report spending less than 1.4 hours per day in leisure from the time they enter school until reaching the age of retirement. This discrepancy between the leisure-time available to women and that available to men seems explainable in consideration of two factors. Firstly, women are disproportionately more likely to be burdened with household chores, child and elder-care, and other forms of work. This accounts for an additional 0.5 hours per day of work for working women, and 1-hour for women attending school. Secondly, Canadian women attending school reported spending 0.8-hours more per day at quasi-civic activities such as the movies or sports events.

Canadian Leisure-time since 1978 (estimated)

Despite the suggestiveness of the preceding data, more is required to determine if there is a correlation between leisure-time and political participation. After all, if Canadians have always spent a given amount of time in leisure, and it is also only since the 1990s that participation rates have declined, then that may be taken as an indication that the leisure-question may be a red-herring.

Thus, it is necessary to examine work trends over the past thirty or so years in order to determine if there has in fact been a quantitative decline in the time available for leisure activity. Due to the fact that detailed statistics of work and non-work activities from StatsCan are only available for the years 1994 and 1998, we will need to proceed via an extrapolation based upon working hours. To whit, we may determine from Tables 1 and 2 in the Appendix, that the number of Canadians reported to be working 40-hours or more has increased significantly. While the population of Canadians of age 15 to 65 has increased to 141% of its recorded level in 1978, the number of Canadians working 40-hours has increased by 140%, 41 to 49-hours by 151%, and those working 50-hours or more by 157%. Even if we look at the time of the economic down-turn of the early 1990s, the trend persists. In 1990 and 1994, the population reached 115.6% and 121.0% of 1978 levels, respectively. At the same time, the percentage of Canadians working 40-hours or more per week had increased to 145.4% and 154.2% of 1978 levels, in the very same time period that official unemployment was peaking and participation levels began to fall.

It can therefor be observed that there has been a statistically significant increase in the number of Canadians working more than the average 38-hours per week national average, which compares well with the roughly 10% decrease in voter turnout over the same period of time. Moreover, it harmonizes well with the observations made in the Audit regarding decreases in civic participation, volunteering, and time spent accumulating politically-significant information.

Has there been a qualitative change in non-work activity over the same period of time? Though there are tantalizing indications that such changes have occurred over the generations proceeding the Second World War, the data is primarily either anecdotal or sparsely spread among such facts as theatre-ticket sales and cable-television provider or restaurant-service industry revenues. That being said, Gildengil et al have noted that members of the so called “X” Generation are significantly less likely to have participated in voluntary, professional or civic organizations in the last five years than their predecessors (72% versues 78%), thus seemingly indicating a fundamental shift in time allocation among younger Canadians. This indication is somewhat bolstered by the revelation that post-Generation X Canadians are even less likely to participate in such activities than their older siblings (60% versues 72% participation), and, as indicated above in the leisure-activity statistics of employed and school-attending Canadians, that both groups tended to contribute less time when they were active.9

There is further evidence to this trend when we consider data concerning the political information possessed by citizens of separate age cohorts. As the Audit has revealed, members of the post-Generation X cohort were only capable of correctly answering an average of 2.3 politically-relevant questions, compared with roughly 2.8 correct answers of the Gen-X cohort, 2.9 for Baby-Boomers, and 3.1 for pre-Baby-Boomers10 . Whatever else young Canadians may be accustomed to doing in their leisure time, political debate is not high on its list; we may take this to be a further sign of a shift in Canadian leisure pursuits, even when time for such pursuits does present itself.

According to Peterson and Juster et al, active leisure in the public sphere of the developed world underwent a marked decrease, from the years 1965 to 1985, in favour of passive activities such as television viewing. More recently, television viewing itself has lost momentum in favour of other, primarily passive, activities such as surfing the Internet. In any event, it seems that there is a qualitative difference in the manner in which Canadian citizens of the early 21st century spend their non-work time compared with their antecedent generations. For all intents and purposes, by our accepted definition, leisure qua leisure has taken a back seat to passive activities that do not noticeably contribute to civil society.

Findings & Conclusion

If leisure can be accepted to be an activity that is requisite for healthy political participation, as argued by Putnam and our other sources, then it is somewhat disturbing to find that so little civicly-responsible activity is taking place in Canadian society on average. The most recent indications would seem to point to a downward trend in both the quantity and quality of leisure enjoyed by employed citizens, and those attending school on a full-time basis. Should these indications bear true, the implications for the democratic participation of the citizenry are fairly stark; Canadians with no time for, or interest in, public-sphere activities are -- by definition -- not participating in leisure that is conducive to the accumulation of social capital or of political knowledge. They are, moreover, manifestly less likely to participate in formal political rituals that demand significant amounts of their already scarce leisure-time -- and that is to say nothing of their prioritization of passive recreation over active leisure. The logical consequences of this lack of participation are obvious for both democratic inclusion and responsiveness; if only members of the leisured and professional-political classes are available and interested in that foremost of public-sphere activities -- formal politics -- then other voices cannot be heard and included. If other voices are not included in formal political processes, then it is a consequence that proper, democratic responsiveness to the many particular concerns of Canadians may come only come about if the actual participants are aware of those concerns, and are both willing and capable of articulating them on the citizenry’s behalf.

What is most remarkable, however, is not the limited leisure enjoyed by working citizens, but the limited amount of leisure engaged-in by those who reported themselves as retired. Despite reporting an average of more than twice the amount of time spent in leisure as working Canadians, the retired still clocked less than three hours in civicly-constructive activity per day -- approximately half the time spent in passive activities such as reading or watching television. This suggests that what is at issue vis-à-vis Canadian leisure is not merely an issue of overwork or lack of time, but also an issue of choice: Canadians choose to engage in non-leisure activities in favour of passive recreation. Television, it seems, is a greater draw than civic activity -- even among those who are not exhausted by the burden of a day’s work.

That being said, significant limitations hinder the conclusiveness of this investigation. First, only limited information regarding the economically unproductive activity of Canadians is available previous to the year 1994; extracting detailed information regarding leisure activities is a time-intensive trial of guesswork and extrapolation.

Secondly, it is taken forgranted in this paper that time spent in passive activities such as reading and television-viewing is politically unproductive. While it is true, by virtue of our chosen definitions, that time spent alone has no bearing on civil society, this should not be taken as evidence that political opinions and therefor political actions cannot be inspired by words read or heard in solitude.

Thirdly, for the sake of brevity and for limitations of length, this essay treats Canadian society as a homogeneous unit, differing only along gender and occupational lines. As the Canadian Democratic Audit and our own analysis has shown, surprising differences exist not only among these cleavages, but also among citizens of different regions and provinces. This suggests that issues of regional political culture may prove highly influential upon the non-work activities of Canadians of different backgrounds11.

Fourth, very little research is available concerning the weight with which leisure impacts politics. That is too say, how much leisure is too little? In so far as our literature sources may indicate, no leisure is certainly too little, as it allows for not even the most cursory involvement in political events. Infinite leisure, however, is manifestly impossible and the life of the leisured-class is beyond all but handful of individuals. Where then is the middle-path between the Aristotelian extremes of political slavery and the life of a privileged aristocracy? Suggestive approximations can be drawn from historical sources -- particularly by examining the histories of the mass democracies of ancient Athens and Revolutionary France -- but these lack the sort of systematic, empirical nature that is the scope of this paper. At best, what we may say is that Canadians, to say nothing of Canadian democracy, could stand for more time spent in leisure and less time in passive activity; how much time is a matter for further study.

This brings us to the matter of the matter of suggestions offered by the writers of the Canadian Democratic Audit Series. As we have noted in the introduction, Barney, Docherty, Gildengil, Smith, et al, have very specific notions of the causes, impacts, and solutions to the leisure problem vis-à-vis its impact upon the democratic participation of Canadian citizens.

Barney, owing to his conviction that neo-liberal idealism is the root cause behind the quantity and quality of Canadian leisure, presents a list of potential cures to the ailment that are meant to stymie either the advancement or reification of negative neo-liberal ideals12. Docherty proposes institutional changes that include both increasing the size of legislatures, the importance of legislative committees, and the time and ability of committees and legislative members to roam constituencies in order to directly consult the citizenry13. Smith, perceiving the marginalization of non-elites as the stated, functional purpose behind existing government institutions, proposes either the reformation of existing institutions to reflect an egalitarian character, or the creation of new institutions of such a nature14. Gildengil et al, conversely, suggest top-down measures which would bring legislative members and political parties into direct communication with constituents15.

No doubt these differences in opinion stem in part from their differing paradigms of comparison, but this fact should not necessarily detract from their worthiness for attention. All have noted, in one fashion or another, that the late-modern practice of leisure -- or perhaps rather its non-practice -- has had an impact upon the health of Canadian democracy. The breadth and depth of their opinions, however, does sign that considerable difficulties and differences of opinion exist regarding the leisure problem. Conversely, it can also be taken as an indication that many avenues lead away from the current state of affairs and into greener pastures -- the fact that these suggestions range from the trivial to the monumental, the institutional to the societal, can be accepted as a sign that hope exists for the current order of Canadian democracy and that revolution, stagnation, or expiation is not a by-gone conclusion for the Canadian polity, and that Canadian citizens are not doomed to ignorance, marginalization, nor apathy.
Table 2.
Table 3.
Source: World Values Survey, 9062000.- Values Surveys A061.- Spend time with people at sport, culture, communal organization
Table 4.
Source: World Values Survey, 9062000.- Values Surveys A060.- Spend time with people at your church, mosque or synagogue

1 Docherty, Legislatures, p. 165-9

2 Gildengil et al, Citizens, p. 29-31, 151, 171-2,187

3 Barney, Communications Technology, p. 43-55, 85-92

4 Smith, Federalism, p. 17-21, 39-43

5 Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus) , 1904.

6 Kaplan, p. 442

7 Here, Stokes is quoting Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, (1334a20), which was composed, or else composed from lecture notes by a student, in the 4th century BC.

8 We might define these activities as quasi-civic for the fact that they may or may not, according to individual instances, qualify as events that foster the sort of activity that Putnam and Coleman view as essential to the formation of civil-society networks.

9 Gildengil et al,Citizens, p. 144-62, figure 6.3

10 Gildengil, et al, Citizens, p. 49-57, figure 3.2

11 The Audit, in particular, has revealed interesting divergences in passive recreation activities between different provinces. For instance, the revelation that citizens and Prince Edward Island are much more likely than Quebeckers to read newspapers in their spare time -- and whom consequently score higher on tests meant to measure factual knowledge of basic political information. Gildengil, et al, Citizens, p. 29-31, 187.

12 Barney’s list of suggestions is extensive, but includes measures meant to halt the institutionalization of neo-liberal values [p. 104-6], measures to reverse the neo-liberal bias in existing institutions [p. 127, 181], and measures meant to promote the health of the public sphere and civil society [p. 123, 130, 168-9, 186]. The ultimate purpose of Barney’s suggestions is, manifestly, to halt the qualitative decline in leisure and political participation.

13 Principally, Docherty suggests increasing the size of legislatures and the activity of committees in order free the time of overburdened MPs, and to make the legislative process more accessible to the common citizenry [p. 165-9, 176, 181]. While these suggestions only have a quantitative effect upon the leisure of MPs, they have a potential qualitative effect upon citizens by rendering their existing leisure-time sufficient for the purposes of visiting roaming committees and commissions.

14 Among Smith’s suggestions, we may principally refer to reform of the federal Senate [p. 136-43, 155-6, 161-5, 172], and the creation of a third-house of the federal government [p. 146-7, 166].

15 Gildengil et al’s suggestions range from directly contacting young voters [p. 179-183], to the exploitation of existing recreation patters through “infotainment” programs [p. 188-9], to the somewhat dubious (if not spurious) policy of increasing post-secondary education levels in the expectation that a better trained population will necessarily be more engaged in politically-relevant leisure [p. 190-1].


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