Sample Essay Response Paper

Response Paper

As it is the case with any (post) modern state, regulation and public policy in Canada have great impact on the lives of individuals. Educational standards, garbage disposal, public transit, access to media and driving standards etc. are among the areas or facets impacted by regulation and public policy. The focus of this response paper is on basic concepts of the Canadian public policy.

Question Response
How is “Public Policy”, defined by Miljan? At least use one specific example in your province, municipality or Canada as an illustration of understanding her definition. The public policy, according to Miljan (2008, p.3) is action taken by the government of any nation together with its agents. For example, take the instance of toxic chemical in Canada. For years, polychlorinated biplhenyls were used, stored and disposed without much care for public safety. The government did not have any public policy to handle the latter till the time it realized there was need to worry about the public’s welfare. Without question, it was a case of the state’s failure to act, though not its decision not to act. Once the public became aware of cancer causing effects of PCBs, their elimination, transportation as well as use became an issue of policy.
When are instances when inaction is viewed as public policy? Use your own examples to explain Inaction is regarded as public policy that is based on circumstances or situation where failure to take action gets exhibited and if the circumstance that might have been addressed by such action is looked upon as problematic. For example, in the case aforementioned, the inaction of government before the danger of PCBs was realized to have great health effects on people that were exposed to such dangers and it allowed stockpiles of currently the most toxic and feared chemical in Canada (Midjan, 2008, p 3).
What does Miljan mean by “the political agenda”? According to Miljan (2008, p.6), “the political agenda, refers to the gestures, symbols and the words that are manipulated by the policy makers” indeed, they are a definition of what is imperative in the public’s life, how the issues are viewed, whose views need to be considered as well as the solutions deemed tenable.
Discuss the context that follows of your understanding of political agenda: “Political issues and policy problems are constructed out of the conflicting terminologies and values that different groups put forwards when they compete for things that cannot be shared in order to fully satisfy them. These problems and issues never exist apart from the symbols and words used to describe them” (Miljan, p.6). This statement is an indication of the nature or language of communication policy maker’s use when they are formulating the problem of policy, solutions and issues that pertain to the same. The policies are just created or they are constructed by use of words, but they never realized. Indeed, policy makers make promises that they never fulfill. Only words and symbols describe them though they are never formulated. (Miljan, 2008, p.6).
Miljan argues prevailing cultural values are what determine what policy options a government is supposed to adopt. Use examples to illustrate understanding of this point. The prevalent cultural values in the apparent generation are a depiction of policies taken by the government. Issues of policy like pay equity, pornography , women’s affirmative action, subsidized daycare and sexual harassment are cultural factors that determine the policies that governments are supposed to take (Miljan, 2008, p.)
What is “policy discourse”? Are we all able to equally influence policy discourse? This is a relevant point to subsequent readings to extent that it helps you understand how public policy on communication (e.g. the policy on the atrocious cell phone bills in Canada) evolve. The policy discourse, according to Miljan (2008, p.7) is an unfolding drapery of words and symbols that actions, thinking and structures formulated from different definitions of a problem. We all cannot influence policy discourse. According to Miljan (2008, p.9) policy discourse is not free-for-all and is usual to talk of a systematic bias (a statement meant to depict how the system policy selects policy discourse).
Once a public policy is in place, the next issue is one that means achieving policy goals. What are the factors that influence the choice of means? Some factors that influence choice of means include and is not limited to Human rights, domestic and international forces as well as the rights considerations injected into new domains (Miljan, 2008, p.19)
What is the relevance of studying public The study of public policy is what enables those motivated to comprehend functions the government grasps with great ease. Through the study, they will get to know what governments do, the motive that is behind what they do and the results or consequences of their action (Miljan, 2008, p.17).



Nevertheless, one of the ways the government intervenes is by manner of regulation in order to achieve policy goals through establishment of independent regulatory agencies. The subsequent part of this response paper is to focus on the latter that is based on Canadian public policy scholars, David Siegel and Kenneth Kernaghan.

Questions Responses
How are regulatory agencies defined by Siegel and Kenaghan (Note: please give me their definition, not the definitions of other scholars that they reference). According to Kernaghan & David (1999, p.261), regulatory agencies refer to statutory bodies with the responsibility of establishing, administering, fixing, regulating or controlling an environmental, economic, cultural or activity through regularized and established means in the public interest and in regards to policy guidelines that are stipulated by governments. These regulatory agencies are managed by a minister and legislature reasonable in respect to matters of policy though have relative autonomy of deeds in decision making within the policy guidelines given.
List and summarize the functions of regulatory agencies Adjudicative; focuses on the establishment of results in people’s cases dealing with regulation Kernaghan & David (1999, p. 261).Legislative; involves capability of regulatory agencies to formulate regulations and rules in a form of stipulated legislation, but with the force of law (Kernaghan & David, 1999, p.262)

Research; regulatory agencies deploy their staff members to they can research in given areas of regulation. This ensures they are conversant with any changes or trends in the field (Kernaghan & David 199, p.262)

Advisory after carrying out research, regulatory members will advise the ministry as well as operating departments regarding the need to consider specific issues of policy afresh (Kernaghan & David 1999, p.262)

Administrative, some agencies will have direct rules of administration while handling programs (Kernaghan & David, 199, p.261)

What are the rationales Siegel and Kernighan provide for creation of regulatory agencies? List all and explain one briefly. The rationales provided by Kernaghan and Siegel includes:Eliminating issues from politics, provision of judicial such as hearing, impartial, apply specialized expertise, future situations handling that cannot be foreseen by legislation, regulation of natural monopoly, smooth instability in the market, discrimination prevention where there is a situation of inequality, externalities control as well as provision of low cost option based on the standpoint of the government (Kernaghan & David, 1999, pp.263-267).

Natural monopoly as well is experienced whenever there is just one producer offering specific services. As such, regulatory bodies make sure such companies never exploit consumers via malpractices.


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Miljan, L., (2008). Basic concepts in the study of public policy. Public Policy in Canada: An Introduction. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Kernaghan, K.,& David S., (1999). Regulatory agencies and deregulation. Public Administration in Canada. Toronto: ITP Nelson