FULL Class Notes for POLI 101 (covers whole course)

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Political Science
POLI 101
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Identity In considering who we are, we must realize there is always an opposite (boy-girl, white-nonwhite). Our identity helps us decide what is important and what is not, and helps us make sense of the world. It is not always politically relevant or noticeable ➞ becomes noticeable when contrasted with another identity. Groups There is no universal human identity ➞identities are formed based on experiences and there is no meaningful identity as just a “human being.” All groups are inherently exclusionary (although not on purpose), as they all imply an opposite (i.e. Women excludes man). Geography is important in identity; its difficult to feel solidarity with someone who is geographically far away. Usually, those who are closer overshadow those who are far away ➞our identities focus on the local, day-to-day encounters, and the nation. As membership in an identity gets bigger, the personal value of that identity tends to decrease. Identity politics in Canada Canada is seen as a multicultural society ➞critics wonder if multiculturalism undermines the solidarity necessary for large national projects (like redistribution). Known as the “progressives dilemma” to those on the left, but this is a threat to all parties in the L-R axis that attempts large national projects. Multiculturalism in Canada - Canada as an exception? Our recognition of diversity and group rights goes back to the 1774 Québec Act, and we’ve always had many significant political groups (Catholics, Protestants, Fr/Eng, Settlers/Aboriginals). Immigrants from East and South Europe also came (instead of just those from North Europe), providing more diversity. Canada also lacks an external colonial experience — we never tried to colonize somewhere else. instead, our immigration policy has (slowly) let non-white people in. We are also extremely isolated with the US as our only neighbour ➞no poor neighbors, so no need to worry about illegal immigrants. Identities and geographies As noted above, geography affects identity. Geography influences identity by: Borders Shapes how we communicate and identity with others ➞may attach physical features to our identity (mountains, oceans, forests, etc). Clearly divides “us” (cdns) from “them” (Americans). Communication networks All human interaction requires communication ➞communications provides pathways in which common identity markers and common political identities flow. Identities follow paths of hierarchical metropolises (urban areas) and rural lands ➞not from the centre outwards. Communication is only possible through shared background assumptions and conventions. Language is required for a shared identity, but not for communication (shared knowledge required). Banality and background noise Our national identity is reinforced by daily life (our currency, flag, weather maps ➞Canada’s borders). Globalization Argued that the internet weakens national identity but it may actually strengthen it (ads are matched to your IP address info ➞ market ads according to where you live, enforcing your geography). The national identity is also very strong and not likely to be surpassed ➞forged over time from history, our identity centers around the nation ➞it is what most go to war for. No longer strong focus on religion. Purpose of nations As the state grows and begins to intervene more in society, its needs to legitimize its rule and gain support to carry out large state affairs through the idea of a nation (could be an ethnic group who was already there, or the state may create an identity amongst the people). As it begins to require more things from the people (their consent, money, obedience), the people bring about the creation of a democracy. Political cleavages ➞politics about dividing resources “fairly” — no agreed upon definition of “fair” ➞cleavages are the political fault lines which divide people within society (things that divide us) ➞many cleavages transcend political parties (no party to represent woman, labour, east, etc. There are parties that contain a broad number of these people, but does not represent all the people. Parties cannot say “I represent all these people” because all those people don’t vote for that party.) ➞not merely divided on a left (liberal) - right (conservative) axis Major cleavages in Canada • language • federalism (regionalism and nationalism) • ethnicity (multiculturalism, and settler-Aboriginal) • religion • gender • class Language • Linked most closely with Québec Seen as driving force behind Québécois nationalism • • Fear of French language dying in North America • Debate between Québec and Cdn government as to who is responsible for protecting French language Federalism • Nationalism in Québec and regionalism in West major forces in Canadian politics (someone who grows up in downtown Vancouver or a fishing village in nova scotia will have different experiences and different ideas of the Canadian state) Destroyed party system in 1993 • • Created two new forces — Bloc Québécois and reform party of Canada • Based upon different conceptions of role of federal government Ethnicity • Multiculturalism is a fact in Canadian life ➞people from all over come to try to make a home • What it means is up for debate ➞always many tensions between religions (how to accommodate certain cultures? And accommodate their different views?) • As an immigrant society, Canada needs to accommodate new immigrants, but do new immigrants need to change? • Different conceptions between settlers (both old and new) and Aboriginal Canadians Religion • Once the key divide in Canadian politics Roman Catholics historically supported Liberal party (reason is not known), and was the reason why Liberals dominated in the • 20th century • Religion and language used to be tied together • Current debates over religious accommodation — especially with regard to Islam Gender • Women and men vote differently Women and men have different job prospects (glass ceiling, there are more women graduating with bachelors degrees but most • higher up positions are still dominated by men, why?) • Woman still a small minority in Parliament • Women still make less money than male equivalents Class • Economically driving force (people who vote liberal/conservative do so because they think that party will help their economical situation) • Often based around union movement • “people vote with their wallets” • Canada has not evolved into a left-right system — parties compete at economic centre and avoid poles • Canadian politics about management Cleavages and parties • Most cleavages cut across parties • Most parties in Canada are fairly non-ideological, i.e. The conservatives isn’t all that right, the liberals kind of ignore the left- right axis (BQ and NDP are exceptions) • Attempt to be brokerage parties, try to propose policies that most people will find agreeable English Canada — Canadian Multiculturalism 27 Oct 2010 • If Canada is multi/pluri-national, then it follows that other nation(s) exist besides Québec • Within Canada the dominant nation defines itself as “Canadian” • There is debate within academic literature as to what to call it — “english Canada,” “rest of Canada” and “Canada” (outside Québec) are used • It should be noted that Canada multinationalism exists both horizontally (between nations) and vertically (within individuals) The Staatsvolk • Within stable, multinational federations, there are dominant groups whose groups are so large that their cultural norms become the background for state structure • In Canada this is Canadians of British descent (dominant group), and supplemented by immigration into Canada outside of Québec • Initial face of Canada was very British — neither French Canadians nor Aboriginals were represented in the “state” — for example money was only in English, then French and English bills, then bilingual Building Canada • Canada goes back much further than 1867 — only the CA was in 1867. Québec goes back to the conquest, while for others it goes back to the English Civil war. In 1867 there was no sense of a national identity like ours today — they weren’t a nation, but a colony of the British empire. • Institutions of the state grew from the top down — as Canada made ties to the Maritimes and the West, this helped solidify the Cdn state within the borders of Canada and creating a Canadian nation. But this process was mostly limited to English- speakers. Québec wasn’t engaging in economic and social networking — there were two separate nations being built, French and English. Building Canada • Allowed for nation building projects (like railways connecting east to west) • WWI seen as the birth of a Canadian nation — required the entire energy of the state, created a desire within the Canadian State to be more involved in Canadian nation and people — taxes, conscription • Created a sense of common national purpose (national unity) — Vimy Ridge seen as high point — cdn army as a whole had the first time to fight together and accomplish a common mission • Québec was in many way outside of this — they did not readily participate in wars • After the war this nation-building process (identity) was carried on by the building of the welfare state — state responsible for the welfare of its people, partially to try to prevent economic turmoil • Single nation building process in Canada outside of Québec, two within Québec — French and English Staatsvolk and dominance • Staatsvolk within Canada extremely dominant, but this dominance of English Canadians is not recognized by the dominant group — felt to be value neutral • Cultural norms of staatsvolk entrenched in the Charter, where the dominant group sees these rights as ‘universal-liberal’ norms — yet minorities often disagree with this neutrality • Dominance allows for the acceptance of diversity — position of the staatsvolk is so entrenched and so clear that minorities can’t actually threaten it. Staatsvolk don’t see minorities as a threat Diversity does not challenge dominance of staatsvolk • Deconstructing the Staatsvolk • After 1982, English Canada became much more populist and less deferential to gov’t — accommodation became a bit more difficult because everyone thought they should have a say in gov’t — good in democratic theory but not for getting stuff done (practicality) • No voice for Québec to negotiate with Federal government • Historically Canada has been regionally fractured • Western alienation, Ontario’s dominance within Canada (centrality), and maritime rights movement are all hallmarks of Staatsvolk The ‘other quiet revolution’ • Québec wasn’t the only nation who went through an internal revolution — Canada outside of Québec changed as well ➞we got a new flag, new anthem, new Constitution, we became less British (and more multinational, allowed immigration from different areas), and Aboriginals given full citizenship rights (increase multinational character), giving them greater room within the Canadian system The representation of women within the Canadian state 22 Nov 2010 • Canada is a representative democracy ➞we delegate our right to make decisions to elected MP’s (representatives of the people) Question is then, “what does representation mean?” • • Should the elected MPs reflect the social and demographic makeup of Canada? ➞elected MPs are not a microcosm of the Cdn whole (not a miniature version of cdn whole) ➞generally higher educated, make more money, more males than females, more whites than other ethnics. • Difficulty arises in determining what the politically relevant characteristics of society are ➞is class, gender, ethnicity? • How does one design a system that captures these politically relevant characteristics? ➞maybe reserve more seats for women, French, Aboriginals, etc. • But one cleavages that cuts across all other cleavages (class, race, etc.) is gender ➞that’s why its special in political theory Gender as a politically relevant characteristic • Society places different expectations upon men and women ➞child-rearing, domestic labour, elder care • 2001 census ➞women accounted for 65% of those who spend 15+ hours per week on unpaid childcare, and were 2x as likely as men to spend 15+ hours on unpaid housework. ➞this places limits on their ability to enter the political system ➞ less free- time Subordination of women? • Women make up 52% of cdn pop’n but are extremely underrepresented in Parliament. • No women has even won an election (Campbell got PM after Mulroney retired) • Women underrepresented in political positions as well as senior potions in bureaucracy and judiciary Psychological marginalization of women • Societies attitudes towards child-rearing and housework is mixed ➞forms of unpaid labour, so its difficult to put a monetary value on something that’s free, and because there’s no monetary value associated with unpaid work, it’s hard to judge unpaid labour. ➞no objective yardstick for value • As such, undervalued work is undervalued compared to paid labour • Strong evidence to suggest that social undervaluing of this type of labour leads to low self-esteem (because society doesn’t value their work ➞belief that their work isn’t valuable) • Traditional roles have also served to limit (marginalize) women in 3 ways: • Spatially (physically): tied to a very limited geographic area ➞local community (home, school, etc.). Someone doing paid labour encounters a larger physical world & different people, which allows them to have a wider view of society. • Cognitively: women’s relative world (home, school, library) limited to family ➞smaller group of people who you encounter. People who travel a lot are more concerned with job markets, highways, etc ➞more motivation to become politically involved • Emotionally: unpaid labour encourages ‘feminine’ traits ➞expressive, nurturing, and caring emotions, vs paid labour ‘masculine’ traits ➞aggressive, argumentative Professional marginalization of women • Women have been traditionally underrepresented in the occupations which politicians tend to come from ➞law, business, and liberal (accounting, etc) professions • Women traditionally not educated in the same numbers in finance, economics, and engineering ➞important for senior civil service • Even when overcoming these barriers, women are much more likely to have to take career breaks than men ➞take breaks for pregnancy & nurturing children Women in politics • Today women are more represented than ever before ➞many legal barriers to women’s representation have been removed (women’s made equal citizens, given rights to vote, equal pay for equal work) • Questions faced in the modern era deal with the question of how to overcome the remaining barriers to women’s participation? • Often debate is around the question of mandatory participation (or legislative minimums) when dealing with questions of democratic reform ➞ • Political parties move away from separate women’s organizations (auxiliaries) based upon division of labour to women’s advocacy groups within parties (i.e. Women’s caucus within Liberal party) Political representation • Women have been active in Canadian politics long before emancipation (but usually behind the scenes & very conservative ➞ protected traditional family values, now move to cooperation ➞peaceful resolution) • Political parties currently and historically provide an imperfect avenue for participation • The network of women’s political organizations is extremely dense ➞lots of variety in women’s groups ➞no shortage for women to get involved in politics • Supported by women’s political culture which operates strongly at community level (more grassroots) • These are often overlooked by dominant political culture, as the dominant political culture puts a premium on formal institutions Women’s movement(s?) • Common to use the term “women’s movement” or “feminist movement” but these labels make the category of ‘women’ made it sound like all women are one homogenous block ➞hides the fact that there are powerful divisions within women’s groups • Profound division in feminist movement from white middle-class feminists, and those from non-privileged groups • Question often asked is, can white, middle-class feminists speak for blacks, Aboriginals, the impoverished, or other historically marginalized groups? ➞causes feminists group to lose credibility • These divisions made it easy for gov’t to reduce/eliminate funding to women’s group such as the National Action Committee on the Status of Women (NAC) ➞were told that they don’t represent all of women’s interests in Canada) The representation of minorities 24 Nov 2010 Diversity • There has been a shift in attitudes over the last generation in Canada (more rights based) • Respect for diversity, as well as equality and freedom, have become core values in Cdn politics • Ethnic changes in cda as well ➞moving from very dominant English, to one where French and British still very dominant (but the sense of ‘cdn’-ness has grown, and other cultures are prominent) • The image cdns have of ourselves is one of Canada as a model society of multiculturalism, but the reality may be different ➞ esp. if you look at the rlnship between the Cdn state and Québec and Aboriginals • However, cultural plurality and recognition is a cdn constitutional tradition that dates back to the Québec act of 1774 to the official recognition of multiculturalism in CA 1982. Multiculturalism revisited No border with a poor country ➞no problem trying to keep out poor economic refugees • • Don’t have colonies, have immigrants coming from all diff parts of the world • This has allowed for a greater acceptance of cultural diversity within cda than elsewhere • 1972 ➞multiculturalism given its own minister of state ➞different from the past, where the official recognition of diversity was the French-English divide Multiculturalism mobilized • In the 1960s and 1970s the views amongst cdn elites started to change ➞and then masses changed with regard to multiculturalism and the recognition of group rights (equality refers to indiv rights, diversity = recognition of different groups) • Recognition of group rights was reinforced by (a no longer functional) citizenship branch within the department of the secret of state, which funded grants through its Official Language Minority Group, Women’s Program, and Multiculturalism sections • Organizations funded by these sections made policy demands upon the government and raised profile of diversity issues in Canada ➞mutually reinforcing ➞the groups that were active in creating a multiculturalism society were funded largely by the gov’t that they were lobbying to create this society • Able to use Human Rights Commissions to make strides in protecting/promoting rights Human rights commissions • Doesn’t really deal with the Charter ➞deals with private regulations (between companies and citizens, gov’t and citizens, etc) ➞set up by both provincial and federal orders of gov’t • These have been at the forefront of the recognition of diversity, as they expanded the number of rights bearing groups. 3 ways for commissions to influence society: • Urged legislative changes (recommendations if they found something lacking in a policy) • Creation of educational programs (let people know what rights they have, make them aware) • Mere existence of Commissions helps create a rights-based society (use law to secure rights) • Resulted in a steady expansions of human rights protection and mobilization of groups (or people claiming to represent groups) Objectives of multiculturalism • To assists cultural groups in retaining and fostering their identity • To assist cultural groups in overcoming barriers to their full participation in cdn society ➞ties multicultural rights to individual rights ➞as individuals we all have certain rights (to education, etc) ➞multicultural rights aims to make sure these individuals can keep their cultural identity but having full access to their individual rights • To promote creative exchanges among all cdn cultural groups • To assist immigrants in acquiring at least one official language Official multiculturalism • Canada does not have a “multiculturalism policy” • Rather we have a collection of policies dealing with multiculturalism (anything from healthcare, to education, to defense — anything that needs to take into acct cda’s multicultural nature) • The sum total of these policies is to speak to a political-liberal view of neutrality • Creates equal space for numerically unequal peoples 1982 charter gives ethnic accommodation a legal aspect — judges can now rule on issues of equality • • Judges not bound by political compromises but do possess a legitimacy that politicians lack • Number of minorities involved in politics has grown, but has remained stable compared to how much of the pop’n is made of minorities. Visible minority candidates - tokenism? • Evidence to support the view that the commitment to visible minority candidacies extends beyond tokenism • In 2000 evidence suggests that while it is true that visible minority candidates tended to be nominated in the least winnable ridings (those where their party lost by 21 points or more in 2000), they were also as likely to run in winnable ridings as well. • parties are not actively trying to bl
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