Lecture 1 %28Jan 5%29.doc

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18 Apr 2012
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Thursday, January-05-12
POL111: Lecture 1
Canada in a Comparative Perspective
Canadians like their historians have spent too much time remembering
conflicts, crises and failures. They forgot the great, quiet continuity of life in
a vast and generous land. A cautious people learns from its past, a sensible
people can face its future. Canadians overall are both.
In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart Canada stands
as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in
peace, prosperity and mutual respect
Expanded geographically and by population
Two ways people live in a country is their life expectancy and money (the
more money the choice you have)
Longevity and money at the level of individuals Canada has been
exceptional in the world
Life expectancy is always higher and so is wealth, things have gotten better
as time passes such as GDP and life expectancy, even in after massive
Canadian politics itself is
John A McDonald, creates new country
Welfred L.-expands country, speaks both language, sees it as a partnership
between English and French
John Diefenbaker-first German Canadian PM for 6 years
Pier Trudeu, bilingual, 1968-maj, brings charter of rights and freedoms, and
throws party away with bad economic policies
Mulroney, 1984-biggest majority, and 1988, rags to riches or great highs
Take great risks to hold the country together
Objective 1: An introduction
Objective 2: understand Canada in a comparative perspective
What is comparative politics?
o A subfield of political science, Perhaps the largest
o Academics disagree over what is meant by comparative politics
D1 comparative politics is the study of political phenomenon that are
predominantly within one country,
International politics studies phenomenon between countries
It is the study of politics using the comparative method
It will mean the study of politics within countries
We will focus not on countries
Thursday, January-05-12
What do we compare
o The state failure
o The determinates of democracy
o Regime stability
o Institutional design
o Party system etc.
We consider institutions
o Executives, cabinets, parliaments
o Constitutions
o Electoral system
o Parties
UK Canada
Monarchy bicameral legislature federalism
Common law single party government single member plurality
South Africa Japan
Common law- unchanging, not written or civil law such as Canada and UK
Single party-they all have one parties at a time
Electoral system-single member applies to Canada
Canada looks more like some countries than others but each country is unique in
some important ways
Why do countries adopt different
Objective 2 understand Canada in a comparative perspective
Game Theory and Formal Logic -such as cartoons-tools for studying politics
Principles of comparative politics, by Clark G.
Crosscurrents: contemporary issue by Charlton and Baker with the enhance
insight package, 6th edition