“Issues in Canadian Politics”
Lecture 3- Being Canadian III
“A continuous lifelong process through which political orientation and ideas are learned and obtained.”
1) Family and peers
-One of the most influential directors
-Political activism: party participation and voting trends
-Direct political knowledge
-Social attitudes and personality traits
-Ideas of “what you should expect out of life, how you will get it, who is involved”
-Social, cultural and economic surroundings (and sometimes how to understand these within
broader social relationships
-Types of Influences: sporadic, varied and incomplete
How might your peers be influential to your political socialization?
-Introduction to politics outside your family’s direct participation
-Encourage you to participate
-Experiences amongst your peers can influence social traits, ideas about fairness, expectations
of political activism
-Connections to political symbols -Knowledge of political system and history
-Consistent daily cumulative knowledge
-S.93: Education is a provincial responsibility in our constitution
-Provincially differentiated highlights of politics (e.g. Lord Durham report)
-In high schools, what is mandatory?
-Political Science not mandatory in Universities/Colleges
3) The media
The media encompasses both those corporations which organize and generate mass
information and the mechanisms/technology that enable the sharing of that information.
What does the mass media do?
-Tells us what to think about
-Shapes public opinion
-Producers of legitimate information
-Acts as an anonymous organism to blame for societies ills
Shaping our stories and information:
Brooks (2012) offers 5 filters on our information
1. Economic filter
-Dependence on advertising (no challenge to consumption/capitalism, broadest audience
-Industry structure and the concentration of capital (Media mergers limit range/voice of news) -Overwhelmed by American media, American popular culture
2. Legal-Regulatory Filter
-The Broadcasting Act (safeguard, enrich, and strengthen the cultural, political, economic, social
fabric of Canada; be effectively owned and controlled by Canadians, broadcast in English and
-The CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission)
-Canadian content rules for radio and TV (ex. For every foreign owned channel there must be a
Canadian owned channel)
-Other regulatory measures (Canadian Film and Television Labour Credits, Income Tax Credit in
Print Industry, Telefilm and National Film Board)
3. Technological Filter
-The media format shapes what news we consume
-TV and Internet = Image-based politics (soundbytes and makeovers, dependence on sterotypes,
emphasis on confrontation)
4. Organizational filter
-Political news management (photo ops, press conferences)
-Experts (voices of the “establishment”)
-Predictability (where the crews are is where the news happens)
-Visual appeal (television needs pictures)
5. Ideological filter
-Whose politics is heard?
-What is not considered an issue? -The questions of bias in the media
-Left-liberal journalism, Right wing owners?
4) The government
Governments inform, educate and propagandize in order to increase public support and loyalty
to the state.
Advocacy advertising: “Selling ideas as if they were products or services. Used by governments
to sustain or change public attitudes concerning fundamental values that underlie social and
Q: Is advocacy advertising informing us of government action? Should we be sold ideas? Is it
simply campaigning without an election?
-Conservative economic action plan commercials
-PC anti-Ignatieff commercials (“He’s not in it for you”)
-McGuinty’s Second Career Strategy advertisements
-Sponsorship Program: advertisers contracted to promote Canada in Quebec after the “Oui”
vote lost narrowly in the 1995 referendum on Quebec sovereignty
-Canadian Heritage commercials: Laura Secord, Underground railroad; Superman; Fleming and
Time Zones; Great Peace of the Iroquois confederacy
Questions to think about…
1. What influences you the most in terms of your political ideas, your ideas about political
problems and solutions?
2. Where do you get your news?
3. Whose information do you take seriously and whose do you take as biased?
4. How does the media shape our ideas about who is an important Canadian, what is Ca