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Week4Political Science 2F03 - Summer .docx

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Department
Political Science
Course
POLSCI 2F03
Professor
Greg Flynn
Semester
Summer

Description
Parties in Canada: 18 Political parties and the party system in Canada Political Parties – Ideological Spectrum Brokerage party situation LEFT More government Government regulations of the economy Policies to help disadvantaged groups Policies to redistribute income RIGHT Less Government Fewer government regulations No special treatment for special interest groups Lower taxes What is a political party? - A formal organization whose self-conscious, primary purpose is to place and maintain in public office persons who will control, alone or in coalition, the machinery of government - Parties are in charge of Government - Connection of citizens to Government - Why do we have parties? Why do they exist? o Direction connection to democratic institutions  Voting through elections and electoral participation o Representation function (aggregate societal interest and articulate)  Political parties talk to their members and develop platforms and can be attracted to parties because they have the platforms  Parties are key to development of policy and representation of interest o Mediate and providing an important element of stability o Legislatures structures along party lines o Policy debates shaped by parties  Green party: doesn’t have a lot of seats, but because of balance of power has had more of an impact on policy in minority government situation than they had otherwise o Electoral success (The most important function of a political party)  Without electoral success doesn’t have much influence  What is a political party without influence?  Cannot fulfill other functions without power o Primary institutions for shaping public policy o Agents of accountability o Help Candidates communicate their views to voters o Mechanisms by which candidates are chosen/vehicle through which individuals can become involved o Training ground for political leaders What kinds of parties are there? Parties in Canada: 18 Pragmatic VS ideological parties (Liberals, conservatives, VS New Democrats) Ideological party – Marxist Party: base their policy or view based on a specific outlook of how the country should be run. (Communist, Marxist, etc.) Pragmatic Party – More opportunistic: More geared towards electoral success than to party doctrine  Electoral success VS party doctrine  Stability, but not meaningful choice  No representation Interest party (Australian National Party, Green Party) Specific issue, mobilizes around a specific issue Personal Party (Gaullist Party) A party that is mobilized around a particular leader The leader is the face of the party Movement Party (Indian National Congress, Bloc Quebecois) Around a particular issue, but it’s more focused Particular long standing issue Size; structure; cohesion distinguish them Big small, hierarchal or more horizontal Are they cohesive and organized? Leader election Delegate model and now shifted to a different mode of leader selection  Voting? Power concentration  Power will always concentrate in the hands of a few Are federal political parties in Canada principled or pragmatic?  Pragmatic, wishy washy policies Political Parties in Canada Brokerage or Catch – All Party (Absent Mandate, Big Red Machine)  Positioning themselves in the MIDDLE in order to catch more votes  Parties have adhered to a ‘model of brokerage politics’ in an attempt to accommodate interests  Aggregation of interests over articulation  Present policy packages that seek to a
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