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POL2101 midterm review.docx

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Gordon Digiacomo

POL2101: Midterm review Chapter 1: Intro to Canadian government and politics Politics: The activity in which groups of individuals struggle for power and advantage to determine “who gets what, when and how” or The activity related to influencing, making, and implementing collective decisions The state: The totality of public institutions that have the authority and legitimacy to enforce laws. Applies to an area of definite boundaries and has a monopoly over the legitimate use of force. It must have a permanent population, defined territory, a government, and a capacity to enter into relations with other states. State is the car, the government is the driver Democracy: A system of governance in which the people rule either directly or through a representative. IT must have an electoral process, an articulation of views, and direct or indirect representation. The collective grouping of laws to the people subject to those laws. Conditions include:  Control f government decision must be constitutionally bested by election  Elected officials are chosen in frequent and fair elections  All adults may be allowed to vote or run for office  Citizens have the right to express themselves without fear  Citizens must have the right to seek out information  Citizens must have the right to form independent associations Public sector: The institutions and agencies of the state, concerned ideally with acting in the public interest. Also concerns Crown Corporations Private sector: The sector of economic society that exists in a competitive environment and strives to maximize profit for private owners, be they corporations, family-owned businesses, or self-employed individuals Civil society: All organizations and groups between the family and the state while excluding businesses that provides cheques and balances to government. This is essential for a vibrant democracy. Can take many forms, not all political (book clubs, religious associations) Civic engagement: The different forms of community involvement such as joining a voluntary of civic organization or Philanthropy  Volunteering: providing unpaid services to help others  Philanthropy: Charitable giving Political engagement/participation: The actions people take to raise awareness of issues and influence the choice of government personnel and to shape the context of government policies (Ex: Protests, joining local parties, petitions, voting, running for office) Social capital: The social networks, norms or generalized reciprocity, and interpersonal trust that foster coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit  Generalized reciprocity: The understanding that “I will do this favour for you now without expecting anything specific back from you, in the expectation that someone else will do something for me down the road” Cyberactivism: Political activism that employs online communication tools such as websites, emails, blogs, and social networking services. Cyberactivism has also changed how activists circulate information, organize campaigns, and mobilize their members to take online or offline action. Can be a good tool for young activists who feel more comfortable online Ideology: A consistent set of beliefs about how society should be run or operated. Consists of:  A theory about the causes of society’s dysfunctions  And a prescription for those ails Theory: A logical explanation for why things are the way they are. People often look for explanation of political phenomena and concentrate on the actions of groups, classes, and the elites. How social groups and institutions shape policy Chapter 2: The historical context Responsible government: A government system in which the executive is responsible to an elected, representative legislative body and must retain its support to remain in office 4 Pre-confederation enactments:  The Royal Proclamation of 1763 o Established boundaries of British colonies o Was very tolerant of the French Catholics  Let them speak French and practice Catholicism o The purpose was to assimilate the French with the English o Saw the aboriginals as allies  Colonists must leave aboriginal land o British accepted that they must purchase or negotiate aboriginal land  The Quebec Act of 1774 o Let them speak French, given political rights o There was an absence of civilian representatives in government o Generous treatment of the French by the British o British institutions to protect the French  The Constitutional act of 1791 o Divided Canada into upper Canada and Lower Canada o Repealed part of the Quebec act dealing with government o Gave each province an assembly but did not make legislative or executive councils o Expanded the prominence of the Protestants by giving them more preference in lad allotments  The Act of Union, 1840 o Based on Lord Durham’s report o Saw the birth of The Province of Canada by uniting both Upper and Lower Canada o Created an legislative body and appointed upper house called the Legislative council, and an elected Assembly o Introduced the need for Double-majority to pass bill (leads to Constitution act of 1867) o Abolished bilingualism in official functions, operations of government, in an attempt to assimilate the French Arguments against confederation  First feature of Canada’s creation is that the founders were not avid democrats, they were dismissive of referendum, their senate was an appointed body, and they believed that the legitimacy of the constitution derived from the Crown. Aboriginals were lowered and the approval of the constitution in NB and Ns had a total lack of transparency and accountability  The founder could not be described as strong Canadian Nationalists; the sense of attachment to the created state was not deep. Now was their sense of trust in each other or in their established institutions. The state created was not fully sovereign and remained tied to Britain. It did not contain a declaration of independence or an amending formula. The constitution did not establish a Canadian Supreme court. This gave the British courts the opportunity to change the constitution, or treaty making power  The founders provided for the bulk of lawmaking and it resided with the federal government. They wanted to establish a powerful uniting federal government, and included a provision in constitution to disallow provincial legislation Confederation: A grouping of governments  Does not deal with citizens directly  Lawmaking lies with the provinces or states` Federation: A union of governments and citizens  Deals with citizens directly  Lawmaking lies with the federal government Chapter 3: Politics and the economy 5 characteristics of the Canadian Economy  Market based economy: o Right to private property is protected o Prices determined by supply and demand o Industrial methodology is the motus operandi of business o Substantial business competition  Highly resource dependent: o Canada has always been dependent on resources o Cod, forests, minigs, oil sands o Oil exports a huge driver of the Canadian economy o The North are resource rich areas awaiting exploitation  Forests are over exploited  Salmon are in an uncertain state  Environmental degradation is prominent across Canada o More economic growth means more govt involvement o Govts and businesses have not been concerned being a manufacturing power  High degree of Foreign ownership: o The ownership of Canadian corporation by outside interests o Has been a pattern for a long time o Reliance on British capital for development (debt capital)  Know known as Equity capital (ownership) o Difficult to do economic planning when the country is owned by foreigners o Can be reversed by increasing tariffs, setting up companies to work in Canada o Can be viewed as a good thing o Leftist politicians see no difference o Excessive foreign ownership may make it difficult to steer the economy o Harper government have limited state-owned foreign company buying powers  High degree of trade dependence o ¾ of our trade done with the US o Most trade done within corporation o Canadian government have been seeking Free trade agreements o Gov’ts oimpose tariffs on goods to increase prices and favour home based companies o Subsidies are given to favour home based companies o Globalization is an economic concept o To facilitate free movement of capital goods in the interests of profit-seeking orgs  Remove or reduce tariffs o Consequences:  Attractiveness to foreign countries  Decreased labour laws, and environmental regulation  NAFTA, reduced taxes, government spending o Globalisation has an impact on politics and policy  Influences democracy itself  There is a tension b/w the needs of corporations and the needs of citizens  High degree of state involvement o John A Macdonald was determined to assist the railways and build infrastructure o Negative = close relationship b/w politicians and businesses o This closeness remains o As does Gov’t involvement in business activities  Bailouts, tax breaks, loans o Use fiscal and monetary policy to stabilise the economy o This approach is called neoliberalism  Ideological perspective based on strong belief in free market system that advocated such measures as major reduction in government involvement, including the dismantling of the welfare state, reduction in taxes, and global free trade Types of inequality  Gender o Gender inequality remains a feature in Canadian segregation o Women are often stuck in lower-paying jobs o And often tasked with healthcare for the family o This leads to wage inequality, discrimination when hiring and promotion, and glass ceilings  Social classes o Broad groupings of people with similar education and similar position in the hierarchy of society o Serious class differences exist whether they are conscious or not o Derives from Marxist theory: A theory that states that the capitalist class exploits the working class which leads to class conflict  Wealth o Such as the Maritimes being less well-off than other provinces o Equalisation payments made to the poorer provinces o Recently added to the constitution by the PM  The Charter of Rights and Freedoms o Has helped gay and lesbians against discrimination in equality and persists marked by differentials in incomes  Govt efforts to deal with it have been substantial and ongoing Chapter 5: Political culture Political culture:  Fundamental political values, beliefs, customs, and orientation that are widely held within the political community  Political efficacy: A belief that the government is responsive to the people and that they can influence what the government does o If political efficacy is low, the political participation is also low  Political ideology: A consistent set of beliefs about how society should be run or operated o Often used when speaking of the role for the state of income inequality o Consists of:  A theory about the causes of a society’s dysfunctions  And a prescription for those ails  Political socialization: Refers to hoe young people learn about politics and the political beliefs of the culture o Media, schools, family, interests, peers are the main influences o Begins in childhood, pick up messages about authority, inclusion, exclusion o Shaped in part by how we are treated in the family and where we are in the family context o Evolve and re-socialized as we become engaged in the world 4 theories on Canadian Political culture  Founding fragments theory o The theory that in founding new societies only a fragment of the political culture of the “mother country” forms the basis for the political culture in the new society o Created by American Political Scientist Louis Hartz in 1955 o Pointed out that each of the major political ideologies became an important element of European political cultures  Formative events theory o A theory that emphasizes the importance of a crucial formative event in establishing the basic character of a country’s political culture o Coined by American Political scientist and sociologist Seymour Martin Lipset o American political culture shaped by its revolutionary experience, while Canadian political culture was shaped by its counter-revolutionary stance in reaction to the American revolution  Post materialist theory o A theory that those who have grown up in relative security and affluence are more likely to give priority to post-materialist values rather than materialist values  Post-materialist values: Values such as self-expression, participation in economic and political decisions, emphasis on the quality of life, tolerance of diversity, and concern for environmental protection o Coined by Ronald Inglehart in 1977 about changes in political culture related, in part, to the economic changes of the recent decades  The theory that states that Political culture is mainly shaped by the power holders in society o Such as the economic elite, the media holders Chapter 7: Interest Groups, Social movements, and Lobbyists Chapter 9: Political parties  An organization that endorses one or more of its members as candidates and supports their election. Primary objective is to acquire power and govern the jurisdiction in which they reside  Seeks influence in a state by attempting to occupy positions in government, usually consists of more than a single interest in a society and aggregate interests  A body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavors their national interests upon a particular principle on which they all agree o Raises stature and broadens horizon  Political parties emerge for a reason, because of social conflict and sound political cleavage. Liberal and radical parties emerge because a new middle class wants a say in government and does not agree with eh view of conservatives Ideologies  Liberalism o John Locke argued that all humans have the right to life, liberty, and property o Government is meant to protect those rights o Philosophy around economic rights – property o Tired of being closed out of government by the wealthy o Associated nicely with capitalism o Flaws dues to the emphasis on liberal rights o Poverty’s rights differ from those born into wealth  Conservatism o Coined by Edmond burke o Believe in order, stability, and the wisdom of history o No appeal from liberalism o The powerful had a responsibility to those in the lower classes because they believe society is an organic whole o Early conservative believed that state involvement was not a bad thing o Evolved grudgingly accept state intervention
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