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Lecture 11

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Christopher Cochrane

th POLB52 – Lecture 11 – March 28 2013. Parties and Party Systems Political parties  Argument: Idea that political parties are in decline. Evidence: people cite declining attachment of people for politics. Political Parties Provide people with identities that make people participate in politics.  Political parties, in our system can’t win if you appeal in one group. They have to build coalition of people that will make them win.  Political parties aggregating our interest in societies.  Political Parties shape political agreements/public opinions/political opinions. They shape political disagreements too. Ex. The environment, support for same sex-marriage, etc. Ask yourself why these issues tend to go to peoples mind?  Political Parties are important players are political parties.  Parties change first and then the public change second.  Ex. In the Vietnam War, both democratic and the republicans support the Vietnam War and in public opinion. Over time, the consensus went down, democrats oppose to the Vietnam War.  Political Parties are organizations that contest elections. They aggregate interests, shape disagreement, focus accountability.  Political parties focus on accountability. Each MP should know its people’s will. Problem: How does the consistutent know the will of their people? How do voters hold accountable on what political leaders do? Canadians are pretty clear of who they could blame.  Think of it as elements of broader category of organization like any other organization. We can think of them as different properties. We can separate them on the goals they pursue (ex. Public good, private goods, public goals, private goals)  Think of organizations the context in which they operate. Competitive context or market context which are organizations competing in scared resources. This kind of context shapes a number of things. There should be efficiency. In competitive markets, there are clear indicators of success and failures. Universities compete for students but they also decline students so it’s not a measure. Political Organizations Taxonomy of organization  Membership incentive – money, important. Different kinds of incentive attract different kind of people which are people who want money.  Market competitive vs. Non-Market (Cooperative)  People who are participating for social benefits – status, prestige, status friends, for group membership  People who participate in an organization because they want to help obtain the organizations goal.  If you’re in an organization that draws people with money, you may not really find people who want to work more without money incentives.  There’s a chance that when you give people wages and before they don’t, they might quit  Provide monetary incentives  Purposive interests – political goods  Market context provide two types of incentives – proposal and social incentives. The key thing is they are strange hybrids. They exist in market context competing with other groups for votes. Political Parties in Canada  In Canada, we have many parties – o NDP, formerly CCF and officially the opposition party right now o Liberal Party – third place party in the house of common right now. o Conservative government – party right now – merger of Canadian Alliance and Progressive Conservative party o Green Party – minor political party, electoral performance various 5% of the popular votes, and no seats to 2 seats o Bloc Quebecois – Quebec separatism, founded from the Progressive Conservative o Various Minor Parties (Marxist party) Canadian Parties in Comparative Perspective  Party ideology – Do they promote religious issue? Do they support taxes? Etc.?  NDP – socialist party, in the socialist international, skeptical of free market capitalism. They don’t think it’s the greatest social good. They restrict capitalism.  Liberal party – liberal international, collect organization. They are as a group that are strongly agreed to capitalism, less welfare, etc. They are very committed to women’s rights, rights to gays and lesbians. They are Small-l in economics and small-l in social issues. Basically they are “Do what you want and take accountability” They play a huge role in Canadian history.  Conservative Party – allied with political parties of the conservative party in Britain, etc., support free market, traditional moral values, moral support, etc.  Green Party – environmentalist party – Global Greens, support environmental issues, liberal left wing in social issues and highly critical in capitalism  Bloc Quebecois – regional separatist – doesn’t belong in an international organizations Ways to Classifying Parties  Party families – they see families of parties, similar name, common social movements (ex. religious movements), common functions within the country which they operate,  Left/Right – o left – greater equality, o right – support everything else, free market capitalism, don’t like immigrants, traditional religion,  Party Structure – o Cadre Parties – elite politics, elite accommodation, and focused in winning o Mass Parties – grass route members, rally members and supporters, members choose leaders, have to appeal to their members, expect what the policies are, create policy convention and they vote on policies  Party theory – in any kind of organization, no matter how democratic, Parties are inherently inequality will emerge.  In every political party, there is still a tendency for small groups to rise up and take control.  Articles about Liberal party – has basically opened itself up so much that not only did it give its members a vote of who their leader is, even people who aren’t part of the party vote who the leader is. Is it or isn’t it more democratic? What are the kinds of resources it requires? The skills you need involve social communications and resources. These resources are not evenly distributed in the party. This is probably not going to work  Historically, politics in Canada revolved around two cadre parties – Conservatives and the Liberals  Canadians parties were preoccupied with Brokerage Parties
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