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pol214 - november 30th.docx

Political Science
Course Code
Nelson Wiseman

of 2
LECTURE November 30th, 2010 Political Parties
Three essays
o 1 from each section (3 sections)
Growth of francise in Canada
How does the electoral system distort the strongest parties?
Impact of electoral system/alternatives to first past post
Parties and Voting Behaviour
Potential Effects of Polls
Functions of Parties
Parties in Historical Perspective
Potential Effects of Polls
Can the publication of polls be influential when it comes to voting behaviour?
Strategic means/undecided votes
Media discourse
Politics believe there is influence
o No media was allowed to publish a poll within 3 days (law)
Passed b/c
False polls
o Late 90s = newspaper chains/media chains went to courts and argued that under the Charter, stated violation of freedom
of expression
Case is heard in Ontario
Law is okay, meets standards and the limitations of charter
Supreme court sees the case in 1998 of May
o Says to strike down the law
o Decision is split ( 5-3)
o Limits freedom of press
o Law is underboard
o Too restrictive to not publish a poll
But you must include methodology
o Voters can assess weakness of polls
1) Bandwagon Effect
o Go with the flow
o You are going to win anyways, why not vote for him?
o Examples: 1984 Conservative Election & Leadership conventions
2) Underdog Effect
o Not going to win anyways, but don’t want to embarrass them
o Example: 1984 Election John Turner was liberal leader, Vancouver seat
Poll showed he was going to lose his own seat in Vancouver
Week before election
Won narrowly
o Example: 2000 Election Joe Clark
Was going to lose in Calgary
Wins narrowly
3) No Effect
o Didn’t change results or public opinion
4) Demotivating Effect
o Losing your motivation
Not interested in politics
It’s not going to be a close election
Lower voter turnout
You think you know whats going to happen, so why vote?
5) Motivating Effect
o When election comes around, you can’t avoid it
Motivates the need to vote
Higher voter turnout
6) Strategic Effect
o You live in a certain area, don’t want to vote for conservatives, not a fan of Harper, but a fan of NDP, but vote for Liberals
7) Free Will Effect
o Polls come out, think they know what will happen, so why not confuse them?
Functions of Parties
Raise and spend money for elections
Articulate goals and policies
Try to get voters to vote for their candidates
Parties = voluntary organizations
o Nobody has to join them
Some parties are competing to elect a government
Some are running to communicate a message
1) integrate citizens into the political system
o Through elections/parties, citizens are linked to the system of government and by voting, they may develop an attachment
to the government system
Link is decreasing
2) develop policy
o Deliberate
o Present
o We got a mandate to separate
o Seen with free trade agreement for liberals
3) Recruit leaders
o Parties choose leaders
4) Organize government
o Provide structure for debates/competitions
o Criticize proposals/offer alternatives
5) Structure the vote
o Party names are a short hand to how people vote
o Party decisions trump how someone may vote
o Vote for leader/party or candidate?
Common response: party, then leader
o Short hand for ideas/policies
6) Organize public opinion
o Ideological category
o Left/right
o Small C / small L
o Parties reflect and reinforce ideologies
o To be successful in Canada, you have to bring in different groups and try to have a flexible ideology
7) Aggregate Interests
o Pull together interests of a number of groups/ different outlooks
o Create a collition of policies that will win election