POLB50; midtermnotes.docx

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Political Science
Course Code
Christopher Cochrane

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POLB50 There are two sections. The first section (worth 40%) asks you to define and indicate the significance of 8 key terms. You get to choose from a list of 10. All of the key terms are drawn from the lecture slides. Describe what it is Functions in the Canadian government Significance of it in the Canadian government Connect everything The second section (worth 60%) asks you to answer two short essay questions. You get to choose from a list of 3 questions. There are no surprises here. The essays ask about absolutely fundamental aspects of Canadian politics--things that were talked about in lecture and that are written about in the assigned readings and in the textbook. If there are three things that I really want you to take away from the first part of this course, it is an inside-and-out understanding of Parliament, responsible government, and federalism. You should know these three things very well. Do not study critical approaches. Chapter 1 (3-10) The Political System - All individuals have needs that they attempt to satisfy, ranging from water and food through security and friendship to self-esteem and self-fulfillment o Some are felt individually, while others are shared with people of similar position of characteristics in small or large groups Ranks by the Maslows Hierarchy of Wants and Needs - We begin by operating in the private or voluntary sectors o Those parts of society and the economy that function separately from government - Converting need into a demand o When we express the opinion that the government should take some action Crossing threshold to the public sector o Demand is the expression of opinion that some government action be taken - Governments make and execute decisions for a society or formulate and enforce social or public policies o They do not necessarily wait for demands to be articulated o Often seek out the expectations of the electorate Sometimes make decisions that are primarily based on the values and preferences of the people in authoritative positions - First fundamental question o Whether people should solve their own problems or whether they should ask the government or the state to intervene Almost everyone agrees that the government should provide certain security measures Most support public highways and public education system Population may be divided on the extent to which the government should provide One of the main reasons for division of opinion is that gout intervention normally costs money and usually relies on taxes of one kind of another Also on which areas of life the state should regulate and how much regulation is appropriate - Generally true that the more we rely on government, the more money it will have to raise through taxation to finance its operations - Government o The set of institutions that make and enforce collective, public decisions for a society Those who control the government can make appointments, spend money, extract taxes, enact regulations and generally impose their will on society - Power o In political science; ability of one actor to impose its will on another, to get its own - Coercion o Backed up by armed forces, police, and punishments, if necessary, government posses a particular kind of power o Government has the ability to impose its will on us by means of sanctions or penalties General rules that only the government is allowed to use force or coercive power in society o Obey government because of the threat or expectation of penalties if we do not o Obey government because we accept government decisions to be binding on us and necessary for the general good - Divides the political system into four branches o Legislature o Executive o Bureaucracy o Judiciary Authoritative decision that a demand seeks can sometimes be made by a single branch of government If demand requires the adoption of a new or amended law, and action of legislative branch will be necessary If individual desires a patronage appointment or if a corporation wants a large monetary grant, a decision of the political executive or cabinet will be required If demand is for provision of routine government services, such as disability benefits under the Canada pension plan, or for changes in technical regulations, a bureaucratic act will probably suffice If demand can be settled only by judicial interpretation or adjudication, it should be addressed to the courts o Will require combined actions of any two of the executive, legislative and bureaucratic branches, or even all three working together Ex. Formulation, passage, and implementation of a new law - Courts normally stand somewhat apart form the other three organs of government o Operating on the principle of the independence of the judiciary - Judicial decisions usually follow authoritative actions in other branches of government o Ex. When the SC overturned the abortion provisions of the CC - Judicial decisions may also lead to subsequent legislative actions o As when the government enacted an amendment to reverse a SC ruling that had permitted an extreme state of intoxication to serve as an excuse for committing sexual assault - Authoritative decisions take many forms o Laws, regulations, appointments, grants, contracts, services, and judgements Can collectively be referred to as the outputs of the politic
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