POLS 1400 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Nonviolence, Fetus, Majority Rule
SchoolUniversity of Guelph
Course CodePOLS 1400
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WEEK 4 QUESTIONS
Political Ideology – Other than Liberalism and Conservatism
Political culture is a subjective term with a variety of explanations and interpretations. There are a variety
of ways people distinguish themselves both culturally and politically so political culture can be referred to
as the sum total of the politically relevant values, beliefs, attitudes, identities and orientation in society.
A political ideology is a certain ethical set of ideals of a social movement or group that explain how
society should work, they offer a political and cultural blueprint for social order. Common political
ideologies include; socialism, liberalism, conservatism and communism.
In socialism the means of production and distribution is controlled by the government. Karl Marx was a
socialist theorist. This ideology emphasizes collectivism meaning that humans are social by nature and
that there should be public ownership, each citizen should have the same level of prosperity and that the
government should control the economy. This ideology was popular during the Keynesian Period.
In liberalism change is embraced in society, this ideology favors a limited government approach which
favors democracy. They emphasize individualism, freedom, equality and the free market. This ideology
was dominate in the Keynesian and neo-conservative period.
In conservativism there is emphasis on stability, concreteness, human fallibility and unique
circumstances. Meaning that change should be gradual, freedom and equality should not be a priority
because it does not focus on the concrete way people live daily as well, there are no absolute answers with
regards to societies problems due to the uniqueness of each individual and society. This ideology was
reigned in the minimalist period and was popular during the neo-conservative period.
Finally, there is communism which is basically the ideology that all people are equal and that all property
is owned by a classless society. The only issue with this ideology is that in theory it sounds nice however
in practice it is basically a dictatorship.
The Traditional Canadian Political Culture
Political culture determines what is normal and acceptable, it consists of dominant values and
expectations in the political system. To identify political culture individual Canadians can be surveyed or
an understanding can be developed from observation of the political system and society.
Canadian political culture is debated. One theory argued is that the dominate values established in
different parts of North America are a reflection of those held by Europeans who first arrived on the
continent and reflect the political culture from the country in which they came – fragment theory.
The tory touch theory argues that Canada is dominated by liberalism but is accompanied by touches of
socialism and conservatism due to the immigration of those who objected dominant values in the states
and the British working class to Canada
Another theory is that historical events shaped Canada’s political culture for example the counter
Although Canada’s political culture is difficult to establish, one common value is that Canadians believe
in democracy. The charter of rights and freedoms acknowledges this to be a foremost value when it
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