Comparing Canada and Sweden’s Childcare Policies and Programs
Systems of Government
Sweden is a parliamentary democracy, which means the citizens of Sweden create the momentum for control and public power comes from the people (Department, 2011). In Sweden the Prime Minister, liberal conservative Moderate Party John Fredrik Reinfeldt, and the Cabinet Ministers form the system of government (Sweden, 2014). Under the Constitution, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) make decisions and the Swedish Government and not the Head of State, or the monarch, is empowered to implement the decisions (Sweden, 2014). Since 1973, Sweden’s Head of State has been King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is regularly informed of the nations concerns but he holds no political powers (Department, 2011). Sweden has three levels of government, which include: national, regional and local (Sweden, 2014). Similar to Sweden, Canada is a democratic constitutional monarchy, with a Sovereign as Head of State, which is Queen Elizabeth II (Government of Canada, 2013). Queen Elizabeth II is the Monarch, Leader of Commonwealth, Canada’s formal Head of State and the head of both the executive and legislative branches (Government of Canada, 2013). Canada has an elected Prime Minister, currently Progressive Conservative Stephen Harper, as head of government. Canada has three tiers within a federal system of parliamentary government, in which the federal, provincial and territorial governments share responsibilities and carry out functions (Government of Canada, 2013). It is clear that both Sweden and Canada have very similar governmental systems and I will now share each nations social welfare state regime.
Welfare State Regime’s
Welfare state can be defined as the government’s action or inaction to support, protect (or control) citizens and this can be accomplished by implementing a collection of social policies to support or not support the well being of its citizens (Findlay, 2014). The state as a rule plays a dual role of protection and control and moreover this duality is based upon the states ideology and responsibility with developing and defining social policy (Findlay, 2014). There are three forms of welfare states: liberal welfare, corporatist/conservative as well as social democratic and each of these regimes take into account the roles of the state, market, family and voluntary sector (Findlay, 2014).
The liberal regime is based on the market and individual. A significant portion of responsibility for social welfare is on the individual and on the market. Within a liberal regime there is relatively low pubic investment in social programs and when there is investment it is often based on those deemed as targeted programs, or services and supports only to those with low incomes (Findlay, 2014). The liberal regime places a heavy emphasis on the importance of paid employment and often overlooks the value of social reproduction and unpaid work, such as caring for children. ...