POL111H5- Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam ( 25 pages long!)

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POL111H5
MIDTERM EXAM
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Canada in Comparative Perspective POL111
Test Review Chapters1-4,6.
Class 2 Lecture Slides
The World of Liberal Democracy Started
Liberal Democracy- thee is a oiatio of the lieal ight to idiidual feedo ad the
deoati ight to representative government. Decision making power is subject by the rule
of law as established by a constitutional system that recognizes fundamental rights and
freedoms.
o The sall l in the term liberal democracy refers to liberal ideology. Big l Liberal
means the Liberal Party.
o Lieal sall l deoa is ot the ol fo of deoa.
o Lieal sall l deoaies are representative democracies. This is an indirect form
of democracy.
o In a representative democracy, we elect the politicians who debate the issues and
govern us.
o In a direct democracy, the people rule directly. The people directly decide what the
government will do.
o In a representative liberal democracy, such as Canada, direct consultations with the
people over public policy issues are rare.
o Sometimes the government does decide to refer an important to the people directly, by
holding a referendum (yes/no question) on the issue.
o Canada has only had 3 national referendums in its entire history: in 1898, 1942, 1992.
Class 3 Lecture Slides-
Liberal Democracies Continued
In a typical liberal democracy, government decisions most of the time are made by the
executive, after debate and discussion in the legislature.
The Eglish thik the ae fee. The ae fee ol duig the eletios of Mees of
Paliaet. -Rousseau
Radical democratic theorists such as Rousseau are usually critical of our indirect
representative democracy, which we inherited from Britain.
In between elections, ordinary voters have no direct control over how the executive makes
decisions, and what those decisions are.
Liberal democracies (small l) combine indirect representative democracy, with a culture that
stresses individualism, and the capitalist/market economy.
At the ost fudaetal leel, the olds lieal deoaies ae e siila.
Fundamental Features of liberal democracies ***KNOW THIS***
1. Free and fair elections to elect the government
2. Political parties are free to organize and compete for support, and to promote their own ideas.
3. Rule of law, enforced by an independent judiciary. Government officials as well as citizens musy
obey the law.
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4. Citizens exercise the classic (small l) liberal political rights, such as free assembly, conscience,
privacy, and freedom of expression
5. Citizens exercise the classic (small l) liberal legal rights, such as the right to property, privacy,
freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, and equality under the law.
6. Civilian rule. The governments authority as the legitimate public authority cannot be
fundamentally challenged by any group within the country, such as the military.
7. A political culture that promotes tolerance and pluralism, including protection of vulnerable
minorities against discrimination and persecution.
8. There is a distinction between the public and private spheres. Society is separate from the state.
There is a social and private realm of individual autonomy protected by law from state control.
Ideolog i the sall l liberal democracies
Ideologies are more or less oheet sets of ideas aout hats og ith soiet ad ho to
fix it. Ideologies are action oriented.
Main ideologies since the 18th century are: liberalism, conservatism, socialism, and nationalism.
In Canada, real world politics takes place within an ideological spectrum defined by social
democracy on the left through conservatism on the right. (Reform liberalism, classical liberalism
in the centre).
In contemporary Canada, the parties are the vehicles for a number of ideologies. The most
influential ideology in Canada between WW2 and roughly the 1980s was reform liberalism, also
known as left-liberalism, and/or welfare-state liberalism.
Welfare State: concept that stresses the role of government as a provider and protector of
individual security and well-being through the implementation of interventionist economic
policies and social programs. The welfare state is regarded to as having a positive role in
promoting human welfare in shielding individual against the economic and social consequences
of unemployment, old age, sickness, poverty, disability and so on.
Ideologies act as filters for policy ideas. Many government programs that Canadian support
were introduced by governments under the influence of welfare state liberal ideology. Example,
Medicare.
Welfare state liberals can be found in all 3 parties, though they cluster in the Liberal Party.
Conservatism in the contemporary world is more precisely defined as social conservatism.
Social Conservatives are most concerned with preserving traditional cultural or social values
and virtues.
Conservatism- an ideology defending the status quo against major social, economic, and
political changes. Conservatism became a clearly articulated philosophy in reaction to the
French Revolution.
Neo-liberalism- An economic philosophy that holds that a system of free markets, free trade,
and the free flow of capital is the greatest way to ensure the greatest social, political, and
economic good.
Also worried mainly about progressive changes to the economy. They fear growth of
government, over regulation of the economy and rising taxation rates- especially on
corporations and the wealthy.
Neoliberalism has enjoyed considerable influence since the 1980s. Since the financial crisis
of 2008, welfare state liberalism has had a comeback.
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