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Ideology in Canada

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Victoria Wohl

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 Revolution - 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 bt 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 seethemselves 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 leftright to classify distinction between individualisticsocial classifications - Left = group - Right = individualistic - Left = more faith in government, less in the market in order to promote the common good - 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 1
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