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POLI 2P99 (19)

Monday September 30th 2013 Poli 2p99.docx

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Brock University
Political Science
Charles Conteh

Monday September 30 2013 th Lecture 4: Poli 2p99 The Canadian Context of Public Policy - structural theories - can explain it in any jurisdiction - the context in which we apply theories What makes Canada unique: - universal healthcare - human rights - Charter - History/founding principles - Diversity – platforms - Language - Geography (vastness/fragmentation) - West Minister - Human capital Proximate Map: Pluralis/Marxis/feminism/globalization Contextual Factors - culture - geography - institutions - economy o Party o Ideology – cutbacks o Public opinion o Economic groups o Supreme court, judiciary, executive, legislative Slide 1: Intro - attempts to understand public policy usually distinguish between what happens inside the state system and the societal factors that influence them - does culture really influence public policy? - Is there a unique Canadian culture? - Hard time deciding what is distinctly Canadian - Can we really make connections between foreign or international phenomena and Canadian domestic policy outcomes? o Do they help us explain what we have or don’t have - Answering the above questions would require a distinction between contextual and proximate influences on public policy Slide 2: Influences - contextual influences refer to a systemic (environmental) parameters of a policy space like political culture, the constitution, the economy and the international system - how they shape or influence Canada - challenge any theory in a Canadian context - proximate influences are the more direct channels/agents of the polcy process (within the state) such as the cabinet, legislature, courts, political parties and interest groups o We’ll focus on the contextual factors Slide 3: Political Culture - Canada has bee describes as being more deferential towards authority, more collectivists (less individualistic), and more tolerant of hierarchy - Lack of controversy in the public and power in Canada - Put our resources in one pot - We rely on government to fix things - Power structure will take care of things in Canada - Canada is also considered to have a ‘statist’ political tradition with elite domination of public policy, and a less energized/involved civil society o Wealth is growing but so is poverty - Another dimension of political culture in Canada is the construct Anglophone-Francophone identities (and divides) as founding principles o Quebec is a distinct different part of Canada o Has its own policies different Canada - A further element of Canadian political culture is regionalism – east, west, central and northern Canada - Canada is a federation o Has 2 identities under one flag - These last 2 factors- language and regionalism- has given rise to the “Fragment Theory” of Canadian Public Policy o Incoherence o Inconsistency Slide 4: Multicultural - Canada also pri
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