POLB52 – Lecture 12 – April 4 2013.
An Immigrant Country
o Like Australia and the US, Canada is a young country and a colonial country.
o Aboriginal peoples, or First Nations, have been in Canada for at least 15000
o European settlement, however, is a relatively recent phenomenon.
o If we represent this timeframe on the calendar of a single year, and treat 15000
years ago as January 1, and today as December 31 , then the first non-
aboriginals did not arrive in Canada until about December 20 .
Canada became a country last Friday
When the federal government cut its cost because of national debt, sometimes, the
provinces will obtain the debt because they keep welfare programs working.
Exam: definitions are on the parts after the midterm, big themes: why Canadians think
and Canadians behave the way that they do. Look at different forces that affect
Are we autonomous as individuals rather than influenced by factors around us that are
beyond our control?
o Consensus: It’s the mix of both.
o It’s the question of to what degree?
We exist beside the US. As Canadians, we try to forge as unified country given massive
cultural influence from the US.
Canada is distinctive and we are called an immigrant country or a colonial country. It’s a
country that doesn’t have that much history. There were people that were here before.
Canada is a young country. When we think of Aboriginal people, it’s tempted to say that
what happened with the aboriginals happened a long time ago.
Non-aboriginal didn’t arrive at exactly the same time. Different settlements throughout
history and settled different places. French settlers got here first. They had different
backgrounds, culture, ideas, etc. These settlers experience Canada differently.
o Lesson: think about how this legacy of immigration and pattern create a path of
dependency over time. This means whatever happened a long time ago, has an
affect right now.
Immigration shapes the social and political aspect of the country. You can’t understand
Canadian society unless you understand about the immigration legacy of Canada. Won’t ask you the specific approaches but important for essay. Try to look at the
question through these approaches.
Institutionalism: rules that we create have profound impacts in our politics, strategies,
o Example of set of rules:
Charter Rights: some say it changed our culture, changed our relationship
of the individuals to the government
Electoral system: if you think about Canada as a democracy, they vote for
a party. When we think about it, electoral system is a set of rule that
translate votes into seats but there are different ways to define these
votes into seats. No system is perfect.
Plurality – getting more votes than anybody else.
Robert Dough political argument is that there’s a competition between
social groups. There are different kinds of groups that are not equal, tend
to have different resources, and have different kind of powers then.
Cleavage theory – you think of society as divided into groups. What you want in a
society are people to have cross-cutting cleavages. You don’t want over-lapping
cleavage groups. They make significant divisions if we have over-lapp