Canadian Political Science
Lecture 16: Political Culture
• The tendencies of a given group in terms of their orientation to political
institutions, issues, and behaviors.
1. Acceptance of democracy and its outcomes;
2. Acceptance of rights and their outcomes;
3. Willingness to engage, or not to engage, in certain forms of political
4. Attitudes toward political institutions, like parties, parliament, the
police, the military, and so on.
• How much participation do we want from citizens? Too much participation
and democracy becomes unmanageable. Too little and there is no
democracy at all. There is a sweet spot in the middle.
• In the civic culture, Almond and Verba famously argue that democracy
operates in the middle-of-the-road between these extremes;
• In decline to deference, Nevitte argues that Canadian political culture is
changing in the direction of direct participation and less deference.
• Canadian public opinion has undergone a profound change over a past
few decades: Gay and Lesbian rights, Women’s rights, Ethnicity and
Diversity, and Protest activity. What accounts for these changes?
• Institutions are rules that structure the relationships between individuals.
A constitution is an institution. The Charter of