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Lecture 4

POLS 1400 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Charlottetown Accord, Statism, Political Culture Of The United States

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1400
Nanita Mohan

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People and Politics: Social Issues in Canadian Politics
Political Culture and Ethics
Chapter 11: The Canadian Political Culture (249-269)
-political culture includes feelings people have toward the overall political community of Canada, beliefs
regarding the role of the state and patterns of participation in politics
Theoretical Considerations
“Political culture consists of the ideas assumptions, values and beliefs that shape our understanding and
behaviour as citizens in the world of politics. It affects the ways we use politics, the kinds of social
problems we address and the solutions we attempt.”
-political culture sets boundaries for political action, limits the range of actors that are accorded the
status of legitimate participants, the range of issues considered to be included in political debate and
the policy alternatives feasible for implementation
-political culture sets the limits for what ideas and actions are appropriate for consideration in the
political system and determines that is normal and acceptable and what is not
-political culture consists of the dominant values and expectations in the systems which lead to political
decisions and behaviour that elites in society have deemed legitimate
Two Methods of Identifying Political Culture
-to survey individual Canadians to determine their attitudes and values
-to observe the operation of the political system and society such as by studying government decisions
and institutions
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Louis Hartz
-developed the fragment theory
-believed that dominant values were those held by the Europeans and that the culture reflected the
country from which they came
Gad Horowitz
-believes that Canadian political culture is dominated by liberalism but is accompanied by significant
touches of conservatism and socialism
Seymour Martin Lipset
-developed the formative events theory
-believes that the dominant values or a society have their foundation in great historical events
-the American Revolution shaped the United States’ political culture while the counter revolution
shaped Canadian political culture
-Hartz and Lipset agree that the United Empire Loyalists are the principle founders of Canadian political
-it has since been argued by John Ralston Saul that it is the Aboriginal values that are more important
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