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Political Science
Chris Gibbs

POLB52H3 Canadian Politics: Connecting Citizens and Government Final Exam Study Package, Winter 2011 1. Politics (Serge-Michel Eta-Ndu) The activity in which conflicting interests struggle for advantage or dominance in the making and execution of public roles Politics is significant because it has greatly affects all Canadians. Examples include taxes and laws which are both the result of politics. Political parties are an essential part of politics in Canada. An example of politics is the current federal election. 2. Power (Serge-Michel Eta-Ndu) The ability of one actor to impose its will on another to get its own way, or to do or get what it wants, usually considered to be the essence of politics and government Power is significant because it is what allows the government to impose rules and penalties on its citizens Power is considered to be the essence politics. In addition, political parties run for office in the hopes of gaining power. An example of power is the ability to impose taxes which is possessed by the different levels of government. 3. Influence (Serge-Michel Eta-Ndu) The act of producing a desired effect on decision-making Influence is significant because it allows individuals and groups without formal power to get what they want form groups or individuals who do possess power. Many neo-marxist groups have accused business groups of having too much influence An example of influence the PMO who cannot make laws but advise the Prime Minster on many issues. 4. Democracy (Serge-Michel Eta-Ndu) A political system characterized by popular sovereignty, political equality, political freedom and majority rule. Democracy is significant to Canadians because we live in democratic country. In a democracy like Canada, individuals gain power through elections. An example of democracy is elections. 5. Public Policy (Taoseef Khandakar) Definition: A course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a given problem. Every policy has three key components. They are the definition of the problem, the goals to be achieved, and the instruments that will be used. Significance: Public policies are the most important ways the Canadian government influences the lives of ordinary Canadians. Every issue we have covered in this course (sexuality, multiculturalism, genderclass - based politics) is addressed by the government through public policies. Relation to other concepts: Public policies are created through the policymaking process. They are created by institutions such as Parliament, the PMO, and the bureaucracy. Outside influences such as advocacy groups and think tanks also play a crucial role in developing public policies. Example: The issue of multiculturalism is a public policy. It became official policy under PM Trudeau. PM Pearson instituted the points system. The government exhorted its citizens to become more tolerant of others. These were all policy instruments for the public policy of multiculturalism. 6. Public Policymaking (Taoseef Khandakar) Definition: The process by which public policies are created. There are six major steps. They are initiation, priority-setting, policy formulation, legitimation, implementation and interpretation. Significance: Public policies are the most important ways the Canadian government influences the lives of ordinary Canadians, so the process by which these processes are created is also important. Relation to other concepts: Different advocacy groups and social movements seek to influence the policymaking process in order to create desirable public policy outcomes. These groups are especially influential during the initiation, and policy formulation phases of the policymaking process. Groups may bring issues to attention (initiation) while clientele relationships between groups and the bureaucracy ensures a desirable policy (policy formulation) Example: The environmental movement is an example of an issue that has passed through the policymaking process www.notesolution.com7. Collective Action (Taoseef Khandakar) Definition: There are two ways citizens may participate in policymaking. They can do so through electoral means, or collective action. Citizens assemble and express a range of political interests. This form of organization is used to influence those holding political power. Collective actions helps define the problems and solutions, which ultimately determine policy outcomes. Significance: Issues discussed in this course are often raised through collective action. Relation to other concepts: Related to advocacy groups and social movements. Example: New social movements are postmaterialist in nature such as environmentalism or animal-rights. 8. Political Parties (Taoseef Khandakar) Definition: Group of people who seek to influence policy by vying for power. If the party wins an election, they can have more formal powers to influence policy while opposition parties can only informally influence policies. Significance: Besides collective action, political parties are another way of influencing public policy. Citizens participate in policymaking by either voting for certain parties, or actually joiningvolunteering with parties. Thus, political parties serve as a participatory vehicle. Relation to other concepts: Political parties are almost the exact same except for one difference. Both seek to influence policy, but advocacy groups do not seek to win elections. Thus, political parties are more formal and institutionalized while advocacy groups focus more on public awareness and clientele relations with the bureaucracy. Example: The two biggest political parties in Canada are the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. 9. Advocacy Groups (Henry Liang) Groups seeking to influence government policy without contesting elections. It is important because one of the major ways to influence government policy is through numbers and it is through groups which numbers are made.
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