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Lecture 16

Lecture 16- Political Culture.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
Christopher Cochrane

Canadian Political Science Lecture 16: Political Culture 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 behavior; 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. Value Changes • 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
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