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Poli Sci 1G06 Exam Questions

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McMaster University
Political Science
Todd Alway

Political Science 1G06 2013 Semester II Exam: Critically answer any three (and only three) of the following six questions. Your answers should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of both the lectures and the required readings. Below is a list of 11 questions. Six and only Six of these questions will appear on the April exam. You will be required to answer Three. To do well in this exam your exam answers MUST demonstrate an explicit awareness of the academic debates that we discussed in class. You are also advised to draw upon the required readings (PARTICULARLY THE ACADEMIC JOURNAL ARTICLES) in your answers. Relying on the overheads posted on Avenue is insufficient. They can provide a good start for your exam preparation - but they MUST be supplemented if your goal is to do well. The exam is scheduled for three hours. All of the questions provide the opportunity to explore sophisticated debates – one page responses are not going to be able to fully explore these debates. You should, therefore, be writing for the entire 3 hours. 1. Discuss the system of checks and balances in the Canadian political system – i.e. the relationship between the Crown, the Prime Minister, the House of Commons, the Senate, and the Judiciary. Are these checks an appropriate way of managing political power in modern democratic Canada? • Everything you know about the Canadian political system • Talk about the general structure first • Talk about if it is the ideal model 2. Does “anarchy” make international politics different than domestic politics, as certain Political Realists maintain? If so, how? If not, why not? In answering this question, explore the structure and the impact of international organizations like the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. • Theory of political realism 3. Thanks to a well-run campaign, the Parti Québécois narrowly won the 2012 Quebec provincial election. It is now 2015 and you have been asked by the Party to write a referendum question that will satisfactorily address the Party’s vision for Quebec’s future. How will you word that question and why? What objections do you anticipate from Federalist forces? In answering this question, be certain to reflect upon the issues surrounding previous referenda in Quebec. • Should Quebec become its own country? • Focus on politics associated with the referendum • Discuss the clarity act • Focus on 1995 Referendum 4. In a January 2006 debate between the leaders of Canada’s major political parties, the leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Paul Martin, declared that if elected he would eliminate Ottawa’s ability to invoke Section 33 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In Martin’s words, Section 33 is “a hammer that can only be used to pound away at the Charter and claw back any one of a number of individual rights.” Stephen Harper, for his part, rejected Martin’s suggestion, arguing instead that “our Charter and our Constitution sets up…a balance between Parliamentary supremacy and the supremacy of the Courts, and that’s the balance I support.” In what ways does the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms attempt to balance between Parliamentary supremacy and the supremacy of the Courts? Does the Charter give too much power to either institution? • Does it diminish individual rights, thus be removed? Or does it protect rights? • Section 33 is almost never used • But provinces have used it (Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta) • Is the issue that it isn’t used that often? o How does that effect whether we should keep it or not • Talk about section 1 and its relevance • Oakes Test (GOOGLE IT) 5. Discuss the political science of terrorism: as a
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