Globalisation and Sustainability

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The Importance of Government Sidney Rua Student #: 990129213 Frasier Valentine POL103Y1 April 10, 2000 The world was once vast and unknown. Communication was once dreaded as messages would take exceeded amounts of time from one point of destination to the next. Countries would not know of each other¡¦s affairs for months because the world was large beyond anyone¡¦s imagination. But as soon as technology reared its head the world rapidly became smaller. It modified everything within its grasp. Communication that once took months could now take seconds. Travelling abroad that would have taken years now took hours. Every institution that fell into this form of globalisation changed. It is obvious to see that governments have also been effected by globalisation in such ways that they can either imitate or contrast with each other. Yet a controversy exists about the issue on the effect of globalisation on governmental power. On one side of the argument globalisation is considered as a force that weakens the power of government whereas others debate the contrary, claiming that there is no effect and power remains constant. Still both arguments fail because of the extremity that they impose. A better argument would be that globalisation does effect government power, not to the point of weakening, but ensuring that no abuse of power occurs unknowingly. Globalisation is simply a tool that enables the actions of governments to be monitored by other countries and world organisations. With comparison of Australian and Canadian environmental policy, it will be clear that actions taken by the government have been influenced (not controlled) by globalisation. The idea of the world becoming a small interactive village is what many would consider the effect of globalisation. Boundaries are no longer an issue and can be crossed with an easy click of the mouse. But globalisation is far from being a new concept that came along with technology. It has existed since humans have had curiosity. The exploring of new lands, the discovery of new peoples and nations, to the fascination of nature¡¦s physical features, people have been in the process of globalisation for centuries. Technology had simply allowed globalisation to progress a little more rapidly than what it had accomplished in the past. Although it seems that globalisation brings promise of a unified Utopian society this is far from becoming the truth. Today¡¦s world is based on the market. The selling of goods and services to the consumer to gain profit. Therefore globalisation has become the expansion of the market place with greater opportunities for production and trade in new locations.1 Relations are established between nations, not for the mere satisfaction of peace, but for the insurance that a trading partner exists where profit can be gained. This motivation from profit leads to the element of the manufacturing process. In order to achieve maximum profit corporations need to spend less in producing a product. They go about this through means of cheap energy fuel (usually fossil fuels like coal), low labour wages, and cutting costs in waste disposal. For an exceeded amount of time corporations have been able to escape the clutches of the law because it was seen that damage to the environment was a small price to pay in exchange for high profits. For instance abuse to the Canadian forests in the past two centuries has led to a large proportion of it being cut, 8 000 kilometres long and hundreds of kilometres wide.2 When large damage has been inflicted only then will people¡¦s concerns be aroused. Governments then needed to intervene, to steer corporations from inflicting anymore damage to resources and environment. Canadian government had only made environmental policy a main concern since 1985. It was in the Ontario provincial election where pollution was made a significant issue. This was the first time ever that the issue of pollution was made a priority. Ever since the topic of...
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