Canadian Political Institutions - complete course notes

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Ryerson University
Politics and Public Administration
POL 101
Markus Sharaput

Eastons definition of politicsAuthoritative allocation of values and powerLegitimacy power values the goodPolitics are the ways society resolves value conflicts within and between societies political conflict results from competition between different values and thus different political demands and identitiesPower ability to affect the behavior of others especially by getting them to act in ways that they wouldnt have done otherwise HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE STATEReification treating the subject as if it is a dynamic unaffected by time and space The State is often reifiedseen as having been the same throughout history from its ancient Greek origins until nowIt is important to note that this is falseit has evolved greatly over timeOur state institution influenced by those in Europe differ from other political institutions in that it isAssociated with bureaucracyA nation of rationality and popular sovereigntyNationalisticHistorically power was gained by coercion and force or claim to divine right to justify absolutist ruleFrom the 1600s1800s the Enlightenment changes traditional rights eg Treaty of Westphalia ends 30 Year War changing the States pyramid of powerindividual princes willnow rule their own states as opposed to all being monopolized by the ChurchRationality in all humans was a revolutionary ideaour capacity for reason makes us humanThis leads for the belief that the layman can now direct their own lives make their own decisionsthe rise of popular sovereigntyNationalism also evolves mobilising and uniting a group of individuals that share the same history culture background and valuessovereignty now lives in the nation not the ruler himself Rights and power resides in the individuals that belong in the grouptheir united values and the clash of values with other states impassions the members of the societyNapoleons invasion of Europe spreads the notions of individual popular sovereignty and nationalismmostly in union against Frances controlThis eventually leads to colonialism and imperialism and later the spread of globalism CANADAS GOVERNMENT DemocracyCanada has a liberal democracygovernment by sovereignty to the government with the consent of its people driven by the ideals of equality democracy and freedom liberal for all individualsIndirect popular sovereignty public votes for delegates to represent them with legitimate powerDirect popular government direct participation in decisionmakingthis faces practical difficultiesTheories of democracyMass participationemphasizes accountability of government actions through the involvement of as many citizens as possibleElitesemphasizes expertise of government officials through the legitimation of those who are equipped and qualified to use such political power regular citizens are knot knowledgeable enough about the running of government to make these decisions3 features of Canadian democracyFederalism sovereignty is divided between different parts of government which all have different jurisdictionsChanges over time happen through the federal governments bribing of provincial governments through vertical fiscal imbalancethe uneven distribution of government money from top to bottomFiscal imbalance the view that provincial governments dont have a proper share of revenue to carry out their responsibilities
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