Political Institutions: the essence of politics lies not only in making and
executing decisions for society, but in having to choose among competing
demands, in trying to resolve conflict, or in making social choices in the
midst of social conflict.
Therefore, it can be said that politics originates during conflict, and is
often defined as the struggle for power and management of conflict.
State: refers to the organized political community that lives under a
government. It refers to the various political parties and institutions that
have a monopoly on influence and power within a certain area.
Government: Can refer to the following terms:
The ruling political party or coalition of political parties in a
The cabinet in a parliamentary system.
The persons who make up a governing body.
Responsible Government: refers to a government that is responsive to
It also pursues policies that are mutually and prudently consistent
Is accountable to the representatives of the electors
It embodies the foundation of the principle that forms the basis for the
Westminster system of democracy
It can be manifested in various forms, such as ministers accounting to
Parliaments for the decisions and courses of actions taken by their
A minister also can be capable of holding office only because they are
subject to the confidences of the lower house of Parliament
Federalism: A system of government characterized by two levels of
authority (federal and provincial) and a division of powers between them, such that neither is subordinate to the other.
One of its functions is to provide an opposition to sovereigntist
movements, such as those initiated by Quebec.
Judicial Review: The power of the courts to overturn legislation or an
action of the executive branch of the government
Constitutional Monarchy: The official designation of the Canadian form
It is characterized by a monarch who is head of the state but rules
according to the Constitution
This monarch confides almost all governmental power towards other
Rule of Law: The constitutional principle that all government action must
be based on the law and that the government and its officials must abide
Democracy: a political system characterized by popular sovereignty,
political equality, freedom and majority rule.
People within society have the final say in who is going to be our
They also have an equal vote and represent the population of the
The larger number also takes precedence over the smaller.
Democracy is one of the political values of Canada and is a way to
participate in the political system.
Its important because living in a democratic nation gives us the right to organize into collective action to bring attention to our demands so the
government could respond to it.
It gives people in society the power to create changes in policies and
throughout the political system through the demand of reform, acts,
An example of this can be seen in the electoral system. People
register to vote for the party that stands for their interests hoping they will
Privilege: a special entitlement to immunity granted by the state or
another authority to a restricted group, either by birth or on a conditional
It can be revoked in certain circumstances.
In modern democratic states, a privilege is conditional and granted
only after birth
Legitimate Power or Authority: the ability of one actor to impose its will
on another, to get its own way, to do or get what it wants.
Public Goods: Any good that, if supplied to anybody, is necessarily
supplied to everybody, and from whose benefits it is impossible or
impracticable to exclude anybody.
A third requirement often added to the definition is that each
individual's consumption leads to no subtraction from any other individual's
consumption of that good .
A public statue is a near-pure public good; other typical examples
include national defence, national parks, and clean air.
Many goods are partly public and partly private. Left to itself, the market will not provide public goods because the
rational egotistical citizen will free-ride.
No national defence forces have ever been wholly provided from
voluntary subscriptions (although some public statues have been).
Pluralist Approach: the analytic framework closest to the democratic
It postulates that power is widely dispersed among many interests in
society, rather than monopolized and tightly controlled by one or more
It also claims that the political system is characterized by much
It also suggests that individuals can make use of many different
resources at their disposal and to organize any 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
Public Choice Approach: also assumes that Canada is a democracy
Is a bargaining process in which both politicians and voters act in a
rational, self-interested fashion
In return for votes, politicians make promises to benefit their voters,
and if they seek re-election, they adopt policies that are capable of keeping