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POL 151 (9)


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Simon Fraser University
Political Science
POL 151
Scott Mc Leod

CH1: POLITICS, PUBLIC POLICY, ADMINISTRATION AND JUSTICE Definitions Politics  Word ‘politics’ come from Greek word ‘polis’ meaning ‘city-state’  Various definition, focusing on power and authority, legitimacy and accountability, culture and values – lack final agreement for a single definition o Eg Jean Jacques (general will and popular sovereignty), Bentham/Mill (emphasized greatest good for greatest number), Marx (politics base on power relationships, class struggle) Mosca/Pareto (elite mass relationships), etc o Kahn, McNiven, MacKown – nature and role of authority and power, characteristics of political ideas and behaviour, requisite for political stability, causes of political change and revolution  Many imply the idea that politics as power o Easton – “authoritative allocation of values”, Dahl – “ ability of A to get B to do what B would otherwise not have done”, Lasswell “who gets what when and how”,  The exercise of power is often defined as ‘legitimate’ when it is based on an acceptable ‘authority’ o ‘illegitimate’ when merely based upon superior force  Conflicts– conflict over ideas, allocation of goods values and power o Reconciliation = attempts to resolve conflict o Political debates about ethics, freedom, privacy, security, abortion, etc – all have conflict and attempts to resolve these differences  Loon/Whittington – politics is a ‘process by which political function is performed; the way authoritative decisions concerning the allocation of scarce resource/values are made and carried out in a society Public Administration  Various explanation: o Focus on processes of governing = action part of government, concern with implementing political values, coordinating individual and group efforts to carry out public policy, accomplishment of politically determined objectives o Application of organizational decision-making, staffing theory/procedures to public concerns o Cooperative group effort in public setting, formulation of public policy, service to community  All emphasize that public administration is not confined to single branch of government, is part of political process and includes public policy  Many emphasize on implementation of policy- forgetting role of beureaucrats in policy development  Most public administration and policy falls along a continuum in between. o Eg ombuds office was created to do administrative work but often deal with much more o Admin/policy should not be seen as entirely separated (a dichotomy) Public Policy  Various definition: o Whatever governments choose to do or not to do  Governmental inaction can be as significant as action – in defining outcomes of policy debates  Bureaucratic slippage – discrepancy between legislative action and intent and policy implementation o Public policy is the “relationship of a government unit to its environment” – public policy is not confined to government, includes stakeholders, public, sub-government, policy communities. Media, NGO’s, political parties, etc  Primary governance structures that makes public policy (federalism, constitution, legislature, executives, judiciary)  Societal discussion/interest/organizations often make influences too – eg right to life, right to die o Course of action directed towards accomplishment of a goal the means of achieving them”  Involves o 1) expression of normative intent (ideas, values, principles) o 2) exercise/structure of power, influence, legitimate coercion o 3) process to deal with uncertainty, and legitimacy and fairness of processes o 4) implementing desired human behaviour o 5) Serious of decision and non-decisions  Paradigms: prevailing/generally accepted understandings/ideas/theories/wisdom  Nine types of policy instruments – ranked by degree of intrusiveness o 1) privatization of conflict – government ignore or problem sort in private organizations o 2) symbolic instruments – statements of interest by government, creating study group or royal commission o 3) exhortation – encourage voluntary compliance, promotion of preferred response (cut back smoking, public education campaigns) o 4) tax expenditures – incentives through tax system to affect private behaviour in particular ways (tax benefits for charities, or incentives for pensions) o 5) public expenditures – actual government spending o 6) regulation – more intrusive, ensure compliance (air safety, what television we watch) o 7) taxation – constraining behaviour, eg luxury taxes on cigarettes/alcohol – may be less effective o 8) public ownership – government activity undertaken via entities such as boards, beuraus, commissions (eg CBC required to enhance Canadian culture) o 9) state of emergency – extreme instances (eg war), coercive government emergency powers, The Political System  Demands & Support  The Political System  Decisions and Actions  Outputs ------- Feedback Loop ------- Inputs -  Input functions – demands and supports – include several functions: 1. Political socialization (and recruitment) – learn values and attitudes of political system understand political culture 2. Political communication – process of opinion forming/exchange – central role media 3. Interest articulation – the expression of interests and claims (eg performed by interest groups) 4. Interest Aggregation – bring together and sort out various interest, formulate more inclusive programs, to form simplified basis for political decision-making  Output functions – decision and actions and a feedback loop 1. Rule Making – traditionally associated with legislature, but can be more broadly based than this 2. Rule application/implementation – generally associated with executive branch/administrative process 3. Rule adjudication – role of judiciary – see if rules have been broken and give appropriate penalties  Feedback – resolution is never an end point, policy produce a range of responses, some represent support of the action, other involve demands of alternative actions Justice  Justice = about equality before and under the law, fairness, honesty, morality, ethics, and culturally accepted norms. o However application of justice is not always equal o Everyone treated equally ‘before the law’ - Canadian Bill of Rights (1960) o Charter of rights – everyone equal under law, equal protection, equal benefit o however History shows much effort to remove protection/treat unjustly – eg Jehovah’s witness, Japanese, aboriginals, homosexuals, prisoners, etc  Distributive justice- allocation of goods in society (treating equals equally)  Commutative justice – treatment of individual in same transaction (give someone what s/he deserves)  Normative values – subjective (eg of an individual) constructions of what ‘ought’ to be  Positive values – objective, descriptions of what ‘is’ o Debate about what to do with Clifford Olson – example of normative vs objective perspective Justice: An essentially Contestable Concept  Search for an underlying premise - eg rightness or wrongness of abortion may be reduced to a belief in whether a fetus is thought to be a ‘human being’ or not, is the human right of fetus greater/lesser than human rights of mother  base largely on normative beliefs  Many underlying premise are contestable – these debates constitute much of our politics and motivate political action o Often cant find perfect solution, lack consensus, policy making/administration is not dichotomy Conclusions  Kennedy – administration of justice = ―how a society makes the rules by which it governs itself and how it applies these rules‖ CH2: CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT The Six Britain Constitutional Orders: 1759-1982  1) Royal Proclamation (1763) o Created provinces (such as Nova Scotia) and provided for their governance – under an appointed Governor answerable to Britain though the British Board of Trade, with an appointed council of advisor and Courts o Instructions to assimilate majority French through British immigration, English laws, English courts  Opened doors for British immigration into French controlled territory o Made legal recognition for aboriginal title – if land was occupied by aboriginals, must negotiate treaties o Also created legislature, executive, judiciary branches  2) Quebec Act (1774) o Intended to encourage French ‗loyalty‘ to Britain - Wanted French Canadian to side with British government, not anti-British American colonists in the subsequent revolutionary war o It returned several rights lost under the initial post conquest constitution  French Canada was granted the whole of its former civil law (English = common law)  French Canadian were allowed to participate in public offices via changes  Abandoned attempts to assimilate the French  3) Constitutional Act 1791 o Divided Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada  Each have its own Representative Assembly  thus established representative government o United States  had adopted a constitutional order that included Federalism / a written constitution / rejected the monarchy for a republic o The constitutional act allowed the provisions of the Quebec to continue in Lower Canada, except for the creation of a legislature  Upper Canada = Dominated by an elite (Family Compact) - English  Lower Canada’s (Chateau Clique) = Dominated the public and economic life of lower Canada - French o Biggest impact of the 1812-14 War was a second wave of English immigrations into BNA  Led to proposals in British Parliament  for the rejection of French Canadian rights such as language protections and Catholic Church limitations and re-unified Canada Assembly  passed First Reform Act  beginning of a broadening of democracy in Britain o Lord Durham = 1838, new governor of BNA  Proposed idea of Responsible government (government actually listen to the people) , Recommending a united Canada, again with a mission to assimilate the French  4) Act of Union 1840 o Abolished Upper/lower Canada  to a combined legislature o English no longer had to fear a French majority in a combined house o By product o
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