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Political Science

Chapter 2 Political Culture o Ideologies, values and institutions o Ideology: a set of interrelated beliefs about how society is organized and how it ought to function. Encompasses politics, beliefs, judgements, society and economics o When societies are described as pragmatic and non-ideological, this means there is a dominant ideology, which has become a norm for that society o Political culture consists of the characteristic values, beliefs and behaviours of a society’s members in regards to politics. o In Canada, the differences in political culture are found between English-speaking Canada and French-speaking Canada o General personality traits appear in an individual’s political ideas and actions o Political ideas are usually categorized as left-wing, right-wing or centre/moderate  Right-wing in Anglo-American societies means you tend towards a more individualist society where one’s own decisions determine one’s opportunities  Left-wing means you tend towards a more collectivist society and that social and economic circumstances determine one’s opportunities o Libertarians: the idea that individuals should be allowed the largest possible margin of freedom in all realms of life, including those that involve moral choices. Although thought to be conservative, they align more with left-wing on issues like abortion, homosexual relations and religion o Socialism: an ideology based on the equality of condition o Classical liberalism: associated with freedom of choice, practice, religion, free enterprise and free trade o Classical conservatism: based on the importance of tradition o Today, liberalism and conservatism mean different things in the Canadian political culture Explaining ideas and institutions o Explanations of Canadian’s political ideas and of the institutions that embody them can be grouped in three ways  Fragment theory  The role of formative events  Economic explanations o Fragment theory: European parents and cultural genes  Canada was founded by European immigrants from Europe which means its roots and values stem from those in Europe  Social classes were underrepresented as the wealthy tended to stay in Europe and people immigrated in waves  New world societies were fragments of European societies because they only represented a fragment of the socio- economic and cultural spectrum of Europe and because their creation coincided with a particular ideological epoch o Fragment theory is weak in determining why previous generation’s beliefs and ideas carry considerable weight for subsequent generations o At some point, the founders’ ideology becomes the dominant ideology o Canada was characterized as a two-fragment society with the French bringing Catholicism and feudal ideas and the English bringing libe
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