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Dyck, Rand.

Scarborough (Ont.), Prentice-Hall, c1986. 626pp, paper, $19.95, ISBN 0-13-731662-3. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Grace Shaw

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

A six-hundred-page book on provincial politics may indeed daunt a few readers, but Rand Dyck of Laurentian University has managed to provide us with an interesting, readable tome. Up-to-date and impartial, Provincial Politics in Canada may well meet many needs for a current text or informative source in this controversial area. Stylistically engaging, with perhaps a hint of a smile at some of the vagaries, idiosyncracies, or simple insularities of our rainbow of provinces and their equally colourful governments, the book is nevertheless a serious study of differences and similarities within a federal system.

The convenient division of the book into regions and then into provinces facilitates the study of particular areas and the principal generators of political issues in each. In an examination of geographic, economic, and demographic provincial environments, including political history and government institutions, each province emerges as a distinct and separate entity with a variety of ideologies and policies. Unique characteristics and patterns of political development are stressed, recognizing however the commonalities within regions along with the ties, intertwinings, and connections between them. A socio-economic and historical study as well as a political one, Provincial Politics in Canada traces the roots of our society to aid comprehension of today's communities and political systems.

An extensive series of tables details provincial ranking in per capita income, federal government revenue, unemployment, sales and degree of industrialization, urbanization, and unionization. Included also are comparisons of ethnic and religious distribution, voter turnout, and statistics detailing provincial legislatures and cabinets, as well as size of bureaucracy and provincial expenditures.

A twenty-eight-page bibliography of books, articles, papers, and public documents is included for further research, with each chapter having its own end notes. A convenient index allows easy access to specific information.

The author's intention was to produce a text suitable for a survey, undergraduate political science course. In this he has succeeded. The book will also appeal to politically oriented high school students and adult readers. Community college people also take note.

Grace Shaw, Vancouver C.C., Vancouver, B.C.
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