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 others affairs for months because the world
was large beyond anyones 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
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.
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 natures 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. Todays 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
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 peoples 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
concern for pollution has been maintained by both provincial and federal
institutions.3 Australia on the other hand began its involvement on the issue in
1980. It was in this year that the World Conservation Strategy was published and
the country took it upon itself to formulate a similar document that would help
enforce the idea of sustainable environment throughout the nation.4 Although
government intervention seems to guarantee some progress towards sustainability
the idea of globalisation alters the desired effects. World trade allows the
cheapest producer to gain maximum profits.
Competition for profits is then
always present. In order for competition to exist all producers must somehow
keep product costs low while maintaining or increasing product output. If
legislation is passed within a country that holds a .