Tuesday Jan 7 14 2014
INTRO TO P OLITICAL S CIENCE
*lots of newspaper clippings, introducing us to current politics*
3 BRANCHES OF G OVERNMENT
• Executive; makes , proposes, enforces rules
• Legislature; approves rules
• Courts; interprets rules
JOURNAL W RITING
Establish a club?
Volunteer for a politician
Volunteer at a local constituency office
Letter campaign to newspaper (min. 10 media outlets)
Promote change (most effective as a group)
Being involved in a church is apolitical act
Document attention to media
Relate it to course material
Political Science; is relevant to understanding how a myriad of issues are to be resolved;
• Health care
• Safeguarding the environment
• Pensions and the elderly
• How wealth is to be accumulated and shared
• Law and order vs. personal liberties Empirical Analysis: explains after careful observation and comparison
Normative Analysis: examine ideas about how society should be governed
Policy Analysis: evaluating policies and assessing alternatives
How society is structures
Systematic study of political behaviour and political ideologies
How societies make decisions
Who makes the decisions and why?
Allied fields of inquiry: anthro, geography, etc
C HAPTER 1; T HE G AME OF POLITICS
Politics can be explained in terms of sports. Think of parties as teams, with different interest groups and followers.
Rules also vary from country to country in sports as well as politics.
Politics are played in context of : Histories, Economies, Social Structures and Institutions.
Players work to win, or to govern.
• Institutions: direct and enforce behaviour of political players, mechanisms of social order and cooperation,
organize and restrict players just as rules do in sports
• Comprehensive Rules: found in constitutions, Fathers of Confederations combined; normative democratic
principles with practical governance, and British parliamentary democracy with federalism
Every person in Canada belongs to some form of social groups. Most are also citizens of Canada, making them a
formal member of the state, providing privileges such as health care, the ability to vote, security of the person
Most of us identify with some sort of ethnic group, speak a language shared by many, are linked to the province they
Though some aspire to independence and statehood (quebec, the natives)
Legitimacy; people strongly identify with their state, people accept the right of the state to act, closely linked to authority.
The acceptance by the governed of the right to rule by those in positions of authority whether or not it was established
A government that is not seen as legitimate will have to spend more time and resources to persuade or coerce its
citizens to obey laws and maintain order.
Authority; Governments ability to make binding decisions. The right to exercise power stemming from an outside authority like the constitution, supernatural authority and electron
Charismatic Authority : authority based on perception that the leader has supernatural or extraordinary
qualities.. ex; Mahatma Ghandi
Traditional Authority: elders, monarchs, authority based on the right to rule
LegalRational Authority: constitutions, right to rule based on legal rules and procedures, the most modern
Politics: David Easton: authoritative allocation of values
Harold Lasswell: who get what, when and how
S TATES AND N ATIONS
• Politics; enables contending interests and differences to be reconciled, for the advantage of society
• Government; organization of people for the resolution of disputes/conflicts
• Power; includes coercion, attempts to influence. Power =enables the government to act effectively, to issue commands,
to resolve disputes.
Without power there is anarchy (a state of chaos)
Institutions = social structures, organized to achieve goals for society
Law; special body of rules issued by the government backed up by the threat of force
Policy; broadly based patterns of governments action
Both concern values about public goals, beliefs about best strategies, courses of action
T YPES OF G OVERNMENT
• Democratic Political System; reconciles competing interests through competitive elections
• Authoritarian Political System; imposes one dominant political interest on all oth