Exam Guide to Political System/Public Programs

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Political Science
James Mc Allister

ELECTIONSPARTIESVOTINGBefore 1974 reforms the older parties were dependent on business contributions for between 75 and 90 of their incomesLiberals and Conservatives were dependent on business for all but a small share of their revenueand most of this corporate money was collected from big businesses in Toronto and Montreal Dependence on big financial and industrial capital Passage of the Election Expenses Act 1974 o Included spending limits for individual candidates and political parties during election campaigns o Changes to the Broadcasting Act requiring radio and television stations to make available to the parties represented in the H of C both paid and free broadcast time during election campaigns o System of reimbursement for part of their expenses for candidates who receive at least 15 of the popular vote o Tax credits for political contributions and public disclosure requirements for candidates and political parties NDP has depended mainly on contributions from individuals and on the financial support of affiliated unionscorporate donations are miniscule Election Expenses Act saw the dramatic increase in the importance of donations by individualscontributions from individuals exceeded business contributions Link between party contributions and access became more controversial with the increasing prominence of paid access opportunitiesfundraising events such as dinners and cocktail parties where for an admission prices that can range up to several thousand dollars donors receive the opportunity to rub shoulders with party leadersThe Lobbyist Registration Act requires that lobbyists identify the general subject matter of their activities as well as the govt departments and agencies that they contact on behalf of those they representToday Canadians are less likely to vote than at almost any other time since ConfederationA smallerof Canadians vote in national elections than Americans in their presidential electionsCanada is among many Western democracies with slipping turnoutYounger citizens less likely to vote than their older counterpartLifestyle effect Changes in lifestyle later on in life cause one to realize the effect of government on society and they gain an appreciation for voting Children buying a house getting married starting a business Teens today are less likely to vote than their babyboomer counterpart
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