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Mar 29 – Interest Groups & Social Movements

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Political Science
Course Code
Victoria Wohl

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POL 203 Mar 29 – Interest Groups & Social Movements • Exam is in EX200 and EX300 from 2:10 to 4:00 • Format is the same as first term o Three sections, three essay topics in each sections o Each essay is of equal value o Make sure you do all three; don’t sacrifice one for another • Good exam question from last week: o Perspectives and theories on how media shapes and controls political agenda o Different filters on the media (ideological, organizational, regulatory, technological, etc.) • Today, Jim Flaherty is still Minister of Finance, but he isn’t technically an MP o The Parliament they were elected in is now dissolved o Cabinet stays in power However, their powers are limited: Flaherty can’t finalize deal with Quebec offering compensation being asked for the adoption of the HST in the 90’s • Many express concerns that organized interests have undue influence in the political system o Wouldn’t be a problem if these interests coincided with the national interest o However, are they? o Besides from procedural concerns, common substantive concern with the dilemma of factionalism Goals of some groups are contrary to other groups of society as a whole • Today, first part of lecture on elaborating interest groups inCanada o Conceptual and theoretical ideas o Listing social movements o Different theoretical starting points • Second part: new social movements, green movement in particular o To what extent are these movements going against the political system? • Brooks discusses pressure groups but doesn’t distinct between organized labour, green movements, etc. o Difference between social movements and interest groups o Organization: Interest groups are more lose; may not have formal interest and might disband after their issue is added to the political agenda Social movements more through channels that bypass the state • Go directly to public opinion • Bring different realities in hopes that their idea is contagious • More attached with conceptions of the good, not material interests • Tend to be less rigid o Excludability: Interest groups are concentrated in the membership • Agricultural subsidies only useful if you’re a farmer, etc. Goods generated through a strike is localized to the workers • Yet wages and benefits that are generated also go to non- unionized workers • Ex. 40 hour work week and two day weekend • In the long run, it affects everyone • Both interest groups and social movements tend to be lumped together, but they
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