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Ideology in Canada

Political Science
Course Code
Victoria Wohl

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POL214 January 18, 2011
Ideology in Canada
Last class:
The material well-being of Canadians; quality of life; socio-economic setting
This class:
1.What is ideology?
2.Left + right
3.Conservatism; liberalism; socialism
a.Contemporary versus classical
What is ideology?
-Pragmatism: acceptance of dominant ideology
-Dominant ideology is pervasive; in Canada it is democratic capitalism or liberalism
-Subject gets a lot of attention; emphasis on the role of ideals in political life
-Comes from a liberal revolution: 1795 The Ideologist Forum in the French
-Commitment to the study and history ideas
-Belief in the freedom of thought
-Wanted to develop a science of ideas in order to organize human nature
-Ideology defined: A body of ideas that represents the needs and aspirations of an
individual, group or body
-Ideology expresses the most fundamental ideas of the nature of the individual, or
society and of the relationships b/t the individual and society
-Liberal definition; makes distinction between the individual and society;
individual is prime
-For conservatives and socialists, individuals are not separate from society
-Offers vision of how society is and ought to be organized.
-Underlying philosophical principles
Left + Right
-Centrist = mainstream; dont see themselves as ideological (they are)
-Rather than classifying ideology based on policy opinions, looking on reasons why
the individual supports a certain policy
-EX. Nationalizing hydro considered left but Ontario Hydro nationalized by
a Conservative.
-You can also use left/right to classify distinction between individualistic/social
-Left = group
-Right = individualistic
-Left = more faith in government, less in the market in order to promote the common
-Government to promote collectivist agendas
-Society is like a bee hive; working together
-Right = want smaller government; which is a necessary evil to maintain level or
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