Safe with us vs the sacred trust : policy change under Conservative government : health policy under Britain's Thatcher and Canada's Mulroney
This research explores the link between New Right ideology and the making of public policy. Taking the Thatcher and Mulroney Governments as examples of the New Right in government this research considers the areas of policy convergence and divergence between them using health as a case study. This study concludes that these 1990s variants of Conservativism differed both in terms of their rhetoric and their ability to chart new public policies. This study finds that the Thatcher Government was a more effective agent of change than the Mulroney Government with institutional differences as the main explanatory variable. Other research themes raised in this research include: The applicability of the incremental policy making model to the study of Canadian and British health policies; the role of interest groups in the development of health policies; and the thesis of the irreversibility of the welfare state. It was found that the incremental model could not account for the rapid and large changes in British health policy but could serve as a theoretical framework to explain health policy developments in Canada. Interest groups for their part were found to have reacted in differing ways to the challenges posed to them by New Right government, seeking to form advocacy coalitions in Canada while remaining resolutely independent in Britain. Finally, this research concludes that the irreversibility of the welfare state thesis as presented by Therborn and Roebroek remains valid. that is that the political popUlarity of national health insurance continue to isolate this sector of social policy from dramatic rollback.