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POL 2101 D Introduction to Canadian Politics Textbook Notes.docx

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POL2101DIntroductiontoCanadianPoliticsTextbookNotesChapter 1 THE STUDY OF POLITICSprivatevoluntary sectors parts of societyeconomy that function separately from governmentpublic sector the part of the economy that the government operatesfinances governments do not wait for demands to be articulated they make decisions based on their values and the values of the people with authoritative power the amount of regulation education healthcare security a government provides depends greatly on the populationGovernment the set of institutions the make and enforce collective public decisions for a societyPower the ability of one actor to impose its will on another to get its own way to doget what he wantsCoercion the ability to impose its will on us by means of sanctions or penalties coercion legitimate power is synonymous with authority and government synonymous with authoritiesex Stopping at red lights we accept the rules for the greater good government is divided into 4 branches of government legislature executive bureaucracy judiciary most decisions will require combine actions of the branches of government outputs can be laws regulations appointments grants contracts services judgements demands are often represented by interest groups since individuals do not have that much power political parties also translate demands to the authorities they try to attack other parties media is another outlet to transmit demands to the authorities they criticize government that fails they give attention to certain issues that seem popular these demands dont often reach the authorities and have very little impact issues matter more than demands Politics the struggle for power and the management of conflict feedback is also important satisfying the expectations of the public as support is important action happens on voting day when you show your support for a certain party political systems are found in environments that are political social economicApproaches to the Study of PoliticsPluralist Approach power is widely dispersed in the political system and not monopolized by any state or corporate elite individuals are free to employ a variety of resources at their disposal and to organize whatever groups they want in order to back their demands to the authorities the authorities make decisions that are basically compromises among the various competing interests that articulate their demands different policy areas are characterized by different individuals and groups making demands on different authorities advocacy group activity is increasingly replacing individual and party activity in the political system pluralism is relevant to Canadian societies because we are such a diverse country we have many pressure groups diverse work force not all groups are represented middle class by interest groups and the centralized framework of federalism in disadvantageousEx Canadian Federation of Students and extremely high tuition feesPublic Choice ApproachRational Choice politics is a bargaining process in which both politicians and voters act in a rational selfinterested utilitymaximizing fashion politicians make promises in return for votes politicians and parties generally adopt policies that will get themselves elected and other things being equal they respond to those interests representing the largest number of votes since it is a waste of effort to appeal to committed supporters or opponents politicians concentrate on marginal undecided or strategically located voters politicians try to maximize publicity of their successes and minimize their failures take credit for good things and blame others for the bad and manipulate the timing of decisions a similar rational selfserving bargaining process also goes on at other points in the political system where it is more often called rational choice such as between politicians and bureaucracy the authorities and advocacy groups and the authorities and the media can be seen in the relationship between politicians and voters the operation of the House of Commons gives particular attention to marginal votersEx Students are rational selfinterested and well informed and therefore they vote for parties with favourable policies as they are a large segment of the populationClass Analysis Approach the corporate elitebourgeoisie not only control the private sector of the economy but largely determine the shape of public policies and ensure that these policies are designed to facilitate its accumulation of wealth this predominant influence of the bourgeoisie is the result of providing personnel for public offices and funds for political parties shaping societal values and organizing pressure groups it also results from the dependence of the state on the capitalist system for the provision of jobs and economic growth the petite bourgeoisie the new middle class and even the working class must be accommodated to some extent by public policies that legitimate the capitalist system and these elements can influence events if they act as a class if these classes are not satisfied by legitimation the government may have to resort to coercion Especially in an era of globalization modern states must also contend with powerful transnational corporations and international agreements that states have signed on their behalfEx Pressure groups that talk to ministers lobbying and heavy funding of parties by major corporations which students come from less affluent areas of society does the bourgeoisie provide jobs for everyone or just the elite and student protestorsThe StateCentered Approach the state is largely autonomous from societal forces the authorities decide what is good for a society and design policies to fulfill their vision of the public interest the politicians rely heavily on the bureaucracy for advice the authorities seek to enhance their autonomy by the internal generation of information and by maximizing their discretion jurisdiction and financial resources if necessary the authorities resort to the manipulation of information or coercion to persuade the public of their wisdom or seek the support of the most relevant societal interest variant of this approach is institutionalism or neoinstitutionalismEx Much of our political debate is about governmental institutions institutions determine who has powerGlobalization the government must increasingly respond to demands from external actors to take certain actions or to refrain from actions already being taken the government is constrained from acting as it otherwise would by the rules of international organizations it has joined or international agreements it has signed those branches of government most closely involved with external relations have become more active and significant than those dealing with purely domestic issuesactors in the political system at the citizen level increasingly interact with counterparts in other states to protect and promote their common interests political ideas and ideologies and their transmission are increasingly globalized and less distinctive to individual states indeed the ideology of neoliberalism became influential almost everywhere although its heyday may have passedEx Affects sectors such as defence foreign policy the economy and culture and organizations such as NAFTA media do students protest globalization
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