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POLS 1400 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Civil Society, Fetus, Fundamental Justice

Political Science
Course Code
POLS 1400
Nanita Mohan
Study Guide

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POLS 1400 Midterm 2 Review
Week 6/7: Civil Society and Interest Groups
Civic Engagement: The voluntary associations and non-governmental organizations that
bring people together to achieve a common goal e.g. sports clubs, religious groups, student
clubs, labour unions
- Provide opportunities for people to be involved in their communities non politically
- Generalized reciprocity: “I will do this favour for you expecting nothing in return, in the
expectation that someone else will do something for me down the road”
Cyberactivism: The increasing influence of social networking sites e.g. online Facebook
protests for proposed changes of laws of Young Drivers
- Pros: Gives people the freedom to interpret in their own way, connect people in
isolated communities to the outside world
- Cons: Lack of face-to-face interaction can undermine trust, inequalities in internet usage
in Canada, specifically caters to younger generation
Interest Groups: Organizations which have some autonomy from government or political
parties and try to influence public policy e.g. organized interests; pressure groups
- Formal structure of organization that gives them continuity; organization is essential to
allow them to determine their objectives and strategies for action
- They are able to articulate and aggregate interests
- They attempt to act within the political system to influence policy outputs
- They try to influence power rather than exercise the responsibility of governments
- Express preferences
- Provide information
- Provide functional representation: representation in politics based on the economic and
social groups of a community
o Opposed to territorial representation: system where one representative is elected
from an area defined by territorial limits
- Lobbying
- Public opinion
- Judicial action
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Channels of Access
- Mainly through the bureaucracy
- Through public opinion
- Executive pre-parliamentary PMO
- Direct communication & Media
- Legislators committee stage of bill,
bureaucracy/public servants
- Through parties by providing
membership and campaign donations
- Increasingly through courts
Interest Group Involvement
- Numerous interest groups
- Few groups, usually “protective”;
social partners
- Discrete on issues
- Groups represent their members’
interests but also ensure compliance
- No formal, permanent involvement in
- Formally and permanently involved in
policy making
- Collectively exert strong influence
over government
- State retains leadership role
- Emphasis on competition
- Emphasis on cooperation
- New groups form frequently
- Civil society dominates the state
Examples of Interest groups
- Aboriginal Youth Network
- Greenpeace Canada
- Canadian Network to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
- National Citizen’s Coalition
- EGALE Canada
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Lobbying: Any form of direct or indirect communication with government that is designed to
influence public policy
3 types of Lobbyists
1. Consultant Lobbyist: Individual paid to lobby on behalf of a client, including lawyers,
accountants, etc.
o Undertaking: a contract or agreement between the consultant lobbyist and a
2. Corporate In-house Lobbyist: An employee of a company whose lobbying activity is a
significant part of their duties
o average of 20 per cent of an employee’s time over a three-month period
3. Organization In-house Lobbyist: Employee of an organization whose lobbying activity is a
significant part of their duties
o average of 20 per cent of an employee’s time over a three-month period
o the senior officer of the organization that employs in-house lobbyists files the
registration on behalf of the lobbyist
Week 8: The Judiciary and the Constitution
Law and the Courts
Law: A rule of conduct or procedure established by custom, agreement, or authority
Constitutional Law: Deals with the rules, practices, and institutions which constitute the
Constitutions: The whole body of fundamental rules and principles according to which a state
is governed. It establishes order and allows for the peaceful resolution of conflict in society.
Politics allocates power; courts rule on allocation
Legal Systems
Common Law: The rules developed by the courts and based on the principle of stare decises
Civil Law: The law of Ancient Rome, especially one that applies to private citizens. Judgements
are based on codified principles rather than on precedents
Courts in Canada
Federal Court of Canada: Hears cases of taxation, patents, copyright and administration
Supreme Court of Canada: Nine justices appointed by the prime minister, the highest court
for civil, criminal, and constitutional cases
Written vs. Unwritten Components of the Canadian Constitution
Written: Found in one or more legal documents duly enacted in the form of laws
- Precise, definite, and systematic
- Conscious and deliberate efforts of the people
- Rigid and a procedure separate from ordinary law to amend/revise
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