A manifesto for a more efficient social democratic model



    MONTREAL, May 25 /CNW Telbec/ - An essay titled Manifesto for a
Competitive Social Democracy by Marcel Boyer, vice president and chief
economist of the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), says globalization of
markets makes it necessary to revitalize social democracy, redefining the
roles of governmental and competitive sectors.
    The author says that "if social democratic states wish to maintain their
social services, they will have to opt for a competitive social democracy that
focuses on efficiency."
    He adds that "a switch from traditional social democracy to competitive
social democracy will be challenged by many interest groups that have come to
confuse their interests with those of society. This will require substantial
persuasion and great political courage."
    The Manifesto for a Competitive Social Democracy (159 pp.) may be ordered
by post or downloaded and distributed free:
www.cirano.qc.ca/~boyerm/20090414_MBOYER_Manifesto_en.pdf.

    A competitive social democracy (CSD) to overcome the limits of the
    welfare state

    The basic aim of a competitive social democracy (CSD) is to create truly
competitive and transparent economic processes in the provision of social
services.
    With CSD, the government establishes citizens' needs in social goods and
services and handles the required arbitrages. It manages contracts and
partnerships for their production and distribution by the competitive sector
at the lowest possible cost, in citizens' best interests.
    The competitive sector (private firms, cooperatives, community
enterprises, non-profit organizations, etc.) produces these social goods and
services under contract with the government sector, using the best possible
human and material resources. The motivation is the pursuit of maximum
efficiency.
    CSD gives citizens the right to economic contestation to replace current
providers of these social goods and services through appropriate bidding
processes. To reduce costs and promote innovation, contracts to supply social
goods and services must go together with rigorous accountability mechanisms,
performance incentives and good governance.

    New public policies

    The manifesto is a true economic education handbook that suggests various
public policy reforms in the following key areas: health care, education,
employability, municipal services, outsourcing, offshoring, innovation,
infrastructure and environment.

    Traditional social democracy is outdated

    The author says traditional social democracy, currently dominant in the
developed economies, obstructs growth opportunities and encourages
inefficiency. The blocking of reforms is fuelled by protected corporatist
interest groups that hang onto acquired rights, defending sacred cows to the
detriment of citizens' interests.

    The author

    In addition to his functions at the MEI, Marcel Boyer is professor
emeritus of economics at the University of Montreal, where he held the Bell
Canada chair in industrial economics. He is currently a fellow of the Centre
interuniversitaire d'analyse des organisations (CIRANO) and of the C.D Howe
Institute. He also sits on the board of directors of Quebec's public-private
partnership agency. He is one of the most respected economists in Canada and
among the top 5% of the world's economists most highly recognized for their
scientific production and influence, according to the May 2009 RePEc ranking.
    The scientific awards and distinctions obtained by Marcel Boyer include
the triennial Marcel Dagenais prize for scientific excellence (1985) awarded
by the Société canadienne de science économique, the Marcel Vincent prize
(2002) from the Association francophone pour le savoir for the exceptional
quality of his work in social science, and the Guillaume Budé Medal from the
Collège de France. He was elected a member of the Royal Society of Canada
(Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada), was president
(1990-1991) of the Canadian Economics Association, a member of the National
Statistics Council of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research
Council of Canada, among other bodies, and a member of the board of directors
of the National Bureau of Economic Research in the United States.

    The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan,
not-for-profit research and education organization. Through studies and
speeches, the MEI contributes to debate on public policy in Quebec and across
Canada, suggesting reforms for wealth creation based on market mechanisms.




For further information:

For further information: and interview requests: André Valiquette,
Director of communications, Montreal Economic Institute, (514) 273-0969 ext.
2225, Cell: (514) 574-0969, avaliquette@iedm.org


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