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POLI 101- November 30.docx

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University of British Columbia
Political Science
POLI 101

DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP/WRAP UP Wednesday November 30, 2011 * NOTE: Please complete an evaluation of the course and TA ( - 34% rate this morning! Aiming for an 80%! * NOTE: No Class Friday Review: Participation - Participation is what enables our democracy to function - Many ways to be active/participate in a political system (each with more or less engagement) - Elections - Parties - Interest Groups - Other - EG. Protest can be an effective method of participation/influencing policy - EG. Mulroney proposed limiting old age security (benefits for seniors) - Many group protested this (including a lady harassing the PM) - Government backed down: saw that it wasn’t in its electoral interest - This is an example of how one can bring about change through avenues other than elections, parties or interest groups Democratic Citizenship - Participation (Political Socialization) provides opportunities for learning and education - Political socialization often occurs indirectly: Pick up information/are educated through environment, parents, etc. - Individual circumstances influence the kind of democratic citizen you are, or which opportunities for participation you take advantage of - Learn about decision-making procedure, issues, etc. - Traditional measures of participation in decline - Voting, involvement in political parties has declined, especially in the younger groups (grim prospects for the future?) - Disaffection shown in numbers: Electoral participation down, especially in the lower age groups (high among elderly) - Hope? - Have people be more alert to needs of a democratic regime - Have people more aware of political structures, engage with issues, and provide many opportunities to participate Media - Opportunity for engagement presented by the media - Advantage to modern communication: surplus of information and sources - Easily accessible - Allows us to collect as much information and different perspectives as possible - Other sources of opinions and information: Family, community, church, schools, advertising - Where we pick up information, impacts how we form our opinions - Think about/be critical of information sources - Social media (blogs, etc) - Being overwhelmed by too much information can be a problem Citizenship in General - What is citizenship? - A type of legal status granting individuals certain privileges (access to state programs, ability to vote/participation) and requiring some obligations (what do we owe to the state?) - What is the difference between being a citizen and subject? - A subject can have similar legal status as a citizenship - Citizenship suggests a type of engagement with political system and a set of obligations - Democratic citizenship is about having a relationship with the state - State can define the kind of citizenship they want - What they want depends on the time - EG. Welfare state citizenship: Entitlements (social safety net), rights bearers (opportunity to exercise these rights), obligation Citizenship Obligations - Through political education/civics the state should make citizenship obligations clear - Citizens must understand the basic rules of the system to which they belong - If you have knowledge, you can participate in meaningful ways - Don’
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