Constitution: a body of basic and fundamental rules outlining the structures of power
and authority, the relation between these, and the relation to the people. The constitution
also sets out the relations between institutions, the relations between governments
(municipal, provincial, and federal), and the relations between these governments and
citizens. The constitution also requires legislature, and an amendment formula- which in
Canada, the ability was set forth by the Constitution Act of 1982, giving Canadian
government, with consent of judicial or judge made law, to amend. There is a formal, and
material constitution- the latter being the pen to paper written texts such as the Bill of
rights, the Charter of rights and freedoms, etc. the former, is the constitutional ethic put
forth throughout the society, and followed by the citizens (unwritten laws and codes of
ethics that provide the constitution with such significance.
Politics: the process of conflict resolution where support is mobilized and maintained for
collective purposes. It is a vital key to democracy, as it is the main and best alternative to
war (the most primitive and ridiculous form of conflict resolution). It is meant as a way
of negotiation to balance demands, and to satisfy all political actors within society, or
debating parties. It is a vital source and form of communication, and should not be
misconstrued as a power struggle, rather, based on higher principles and representing
values of the people. Many value politics as a way to process needed action with dignity
State: The structure of power organizing a political community that inhabits a specific
territory. There is a very large distinction however between government and state (a
common misconception. Government is an entity elected or appointed to employ the
authority of the state, while the state itself is a collection of institutions (such as the
police, military, civil service, and judiciary). These institutions are given infused with the
power to hereby control the inhabited territory by means of reasonable law and
enforcement (possibly physical- Weber). REPRESENTATIVE OF THE INHABITANTS
Civil Society- the sphere of citizen activity outside the realm of authority. Such activity
includes religious groups (church), clubs, family, and the market place.
Society- a collection of individuals brought together by commerce, environment, shared
governments, etc. Society runs on the principle of voluntary association, in other words, a
member within the society does not Have to conform to societies norms and beliefs,
however in many cases it is frowned upon (“social reject”).
Nation- a collection of people brought together by common descent, language, religion,
sense of history, customs and traditions, all of which inhabit a specific territory. Many
have criticized the idea or concept of a nation because of it’s subjective tendencies.
However, a nation can be brought together or many other factors such as economy, literal
borders, or even shared government (the idea of the ‘country’).
Community- individuals brought together by shared language, culture and beliefs. They
also share common norms and customs, and in some cases commitment and duty (however this is more of a conservative way of thinking). All of this is brought together
to form the idea of community cohesiveness (a core principle of a shared community).
Influence- the ability to persuade other to do your will; to get them to do what you want
them to do. This is a voluntary motion, and people are no coerced into making decisions
regarding the influence of another.
Coercion- a form of power based on forced compliance through use of fear and
intimidation. This is involuntary, and people are forced into making decision regarding
the influence of another (usually a leader, and the decisions are forms of commands).
Authority- a form of power based on the consensus regarding the right to issue
demands/commands and make decisions. People normally respect the source of
command. The source of command (authority), can be facilitated in a variety of ways:
Traditional Leadership (orientation to conform), Charismatic leadership (the leader is
said to have a uniquely distinct gift to influence the people), and Legal Rational
Leadership (the belief in the validity of the legal statute and the functional competence of
the rationally created laws and policies.
Legitimacy- the belief in the rightness of rule.
Government- that nefarious group of individuals that are either elected or appointment to
employ the power and authority of the state. These individuals are constrained by two
main factors- Justice and Democracy.
Lockian Liberalism- John locke, a political philosopher, refuted the existence and belief
in the divine or god appointed. He believed that we were all properties and images of
god, and that we are born as a Blank Slate- innate, equal, and equally independent.
Believed in Indivudal liberalism, one is born with the natural right to life, property, and
the ability to