Canada is a diverse nation economically, politically, socially, culturally, religiously, and ethnically. Thus, it is not surprising that there is a marked diversity of paradigms when approaching Canadian government and politics. It impossible to approach the Canadian system with a single paradigm and assume that this paradigm provides all of the correct answers. There exist some predominant evaluations that hold considerable weight among the Canadian population and enhance our understanding of Canadian politics. In his book, Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, Rand Dyck outlines four specific approaches, which are state-centrism, class analysis, pluralism, and public choice. These four approaches, when combined to formulate what Rand Dyck identifies as the Amalgam Model, enhance our understanding of Canadian government and politics. .
The state-centric approach suggests that the common trend of Canadian deference to authority leads to a government acting largely as an autonomous entity making decisions for the nation. Furthermore, state-centrism contends that the power in Canada is maintained by the few, namely the bureaucracy, which advises the Cabinet and the Prime Minister in their decisions. These decisions are considered patriarchal in nature since those in authority believe that what appears to be a general deference to authority is indicative of an entirely ignorant population.
While it is true that Canadians are generally ill-informed on issues pertaining to the Canadian government, the fact still remains that in an era where one can easily find a plethora of literature on any single topic and issues are open for public discussion, Canadians are becoming better informed. Granted, ignorance still runs rampant among the population; but, it is slowly decreasing in predominance. The recent issue where Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, "asked" Paul Martin to step down from his post is just one example.