At the beginning of the semester, I outlined three different ways to conceive local government. They can be seen as 1) merely service providers; 2) a tool of more senior levels of government, particularly the provinces, for satisfying their economic and fiscal interests; and 3) an important component of representative democracy. Based on everything that you have learned (through lectures, required readings, student presentations and independent research) about local government this semester, which of the three characterizations of local government is most appropriate? Paper format should be on Times New roman. The final exam consists of one essay question and is worth 20% of your final grade. You should provide a response in essay format of between 1,500 and 2,000 words for the question (~5-7 pages assuming about 300 words per page double spaced using a Times New Roman 12 point font). While there is no need to provide any formal references in your answers, it is expected that the essay submitted will be written in your own words. You may decide to consult with your classmates about how to respond to the question. However, your responses should be sufficiently unique so that there is no doubt as to whether you have submitted your own work. Please keep in mind that there is no right or wrong answer to the question outlined below. Nonetheless, you will be expected to provide a sound rationale to support the position advanced in your essay. In preparing your response, you should draw upon what you have learned throughout the semester from the course readings, lectures and the presentations. Your response will be evaluated based on content (how you have interpreted the question and the evidence/arguments you draw upon to support your position) and spelling, grammar and punctuation. It is not enough to have good ideas; you must also be able to articulate those thoughts clearly and concisely. I hope that you have enjoyed the course and perhaps even developed a sense of excitement and optimism about the important role you can play in shaping the programs and policies in the communities that you live in over the course of your life. Be sure to provide sufficient evidence (facts/data and examples) to justify your response irrespective of the position that you adopt. In your response, you might want to suggest the de facto role of government is different from what it should be.
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