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Week6Thursday Political Science 2F03 - Summer .docx

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Political Science
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Greg Flynn

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Sample essay questions & Discussion 1. Define democratic deficit and democracy a. Assess the evidence for and against the deficit in Canada 2. Voting system, Senate, Participatory mechanisms, online voting, reforms to multiculturalism policy, reforming the charter of rights, judges being appointed, based on something discussed in the class. What would be the best that could enhance democracy overall? Make the case for each and have a discussion about how you would see democracy changing. Just Canadian. 3. **QUESTION: The charter of Rights and Freedoms and Internet voting are two controversial changes to the Canadian Political system discuss the democratic implications of each a. Proposed benefits that it could bring to democracy (Internet Voting) i. Could it be anti-democratic to move elections online and allow private companies to run these elections ii. Internet voting growth is increasing slowly. Future development b. Charter of rights and freedoms 4. What are the different voices? How do they contribute? So many voices in Canadian polity that we‟ve talked about (Women, Minority groups, aboriginal groups), women and politics, recognize that there are many voices in the Canadian polity, but can focus on women or on other groups. 5. Beginning of course… 6. ** How would you approach? Define each of these particular groups, think about the VALUE that they‟re bringing, and what delivers the best benefits to the citizens. 7. If political party the way to go? … Find charismatic leader, techniques used to lobby government, be creative with it. Can talk about various methods. a. Mechanisms of participation, choose and explain why they‟re the best? 8. Democratic quality of Canada today… 9. Look at various government institutions and groups of civil societies (political party). Some topics are more institutional in nature. Making a decision whether you agree with Karin, Lazlo or offering a different perspective. 10. The media would also fall under groups and civil society. GENDER AND POLITICS  Gender as an analytical category, gender versus sex o Social construction  We socially construct gender o Gender versus sex  More broadly – women in politics Social construction: Cat looks nothing like the actual physical construction? Language, people, etc. are all socially constructed. Breakfast, socially constructed and development of norms What do symbols represent? People, food, gender all socially constructed Racism is socially constructed Put your gender classes on: Job Titles  Fireman  Congressman  Policeman  police officer  Housewife  home maker  Stewardess  flight attendant Other terms  Fatherland  native land  Mankind  human kind  Frenchman  The French  All men are created equal  all people are created equal  Best man for the job  best person for the job Women‟s representation in politics  Women have made significant gains in the proportion of elected offices they hold, but are still under-represented.  Which barriers are primarily responsible for female legislative under-representation o The electoral system o Cultural entity (the media) – Are women dressing properly? Using appropriate speech?  Why should we care about it? o Justice argument (percentage of the population) o Experience argument (have different experiences, will engage in politics differently; have different perspectives represented in policy) o Representative argument (different interests) o Role model argument (the more women in legislative office, the more role models there are for young women to pursue legislative careers) o Women see the world differently, and therefore only women can properly represent women. Women are usually associated with health issues, welfare issues, women are perceived as being identified with soft issues, where as the hard issues are left up to men in politics. If women pursue hard issues, are seen as masculine, aggressive, etc. Great rationale for instituting quotas is to encourage female role models in legislative careers. Representation: Democratic government and the nature of representation  Can be argued that representation is best achieved when elected members reflect the composition of the electorate at large.  Descriptive representation – having the same characteristics (janitor, female, etc.) How far do you take this? Women represent women and men represent men  Substantive representation – Views, ideologies, and so on. Does having women in politics really change anything? Examples in Ontario (OLP Women‟s caucus)  Sharia Law  Decision to increase $ for children‟s treatment centers and support for children at risk  Generally, a forum for support for key social welfare issues What are the barriers to women‟s legislative representation? In
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