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Lecture 20

Political Science 1020E - PS - Lecture 20.docx

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Western University
Political Science
Political Science 1020E
Peter Fragiskatos

PoliSci1020E February 15, 2012 Lecture 20 TOPIC Systems and Public Policy Human Rights (Tribunal)  Protection of citizens from discrimination. This applies to employment, services, and housing. If a person or company is found guilty, they are usually forced to pay approximately $10 000 in compensation.  Unitary States  Federalism  Public Policy Almost all states in the world have more than one government. Unitary System  Almost 150 (out of 190) states; the most common.  Used by democratic and authoritarian states.  Can be municipal or regional.  Have their own legislature, and local governments can have their own elections.  Their power to make decisions is overseen and controlled by the central government.  Funding comes from central government, and can be cut at any time.  Central is in charge of the key aspects of social life. Local government are responsible for more minor duties (e.g. garbage collection, parks & recreation, etc.).  Said to work best in small states. There is one set of policies/on system of law on major issues – this brings about unity. However, in very large states, a unitary state would pose serious problems, as one system would be controlling a very large state (e.g. Ottawa would control Vancouver’s provincial government). Federal System  Canada and 25 other countries.  Divides power equally between central and local governments.  This means that the government cannot over-ride decisions made by provincial governments. This is the main distinction between unitary and federal states.  Areas of jurisdiction. o Points out which areas of government control which aspects of society and politics.  Federalism in Canada o Sub-governments = municipal and provincial. o Municipal government is subservient to its superiors. Public Policy  Actions taken by public officials to respond to public problems broadly understood (health care wait times, environmental problems, educational curriculums, etc.).  Solution = a guide that flows from some general opinion or position.  Can politicians make neutral and objective decisions? Or are they guided by perceptions?  What is Ontology? o Ontology is concerned with the nature of being. o From the Greek: ‘ont’ (being), ‘logos’ (theory). o Key questions:  What exists?  What is the world made up of?  What makes things tick? o Perceptions are key and conditioned by one’s class, upbringin
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