POL101Y1 Reading Summary Semester 2.docx

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Political Science
Joseph Wong

POLITICAL SCIENCE SUMMARY PACKAGE 20112012 SEMESTER 2 Completed through collective action of your peers 3 Big thanks to everyone who contributed This wouldnt have been done without you Everything is placed in chronological order for convenience sake and some readings have multiple summaries because they were a bit trickier than others Overall Sean and Minh both really hope that this helps you with your studying Thank you once again and good luck to everyonethJanuary 9 2012Continental Divide The Values and Institutions of the United States and Canada Seymour Martin LipsetSummarized by Francisco GomesNationalism and ConflictsJan 9 2011Revolution and CounterrevolutionUSA and Canada are opposites One is proud of overthrowing an oppressive state and creating a new government for its citizens The other is proud of maintaining the legacy of its mother country Creating a government that allows citizens to make political decisions and stressing individualism is what makes USA exceptional Maintaining a monarchy while creating free institutions made Canada differentThe core values of each country is what separates them USA is whig and Canada is Tory Whig is libertarian and emphasizes distrust of state equality and populism Reinforced by voluntary and congregational religion Tory is accepting of strong state respecting of authority and obeying Endorsed by hierarchical organized religion Canada has become more individualistic and less accepting of the elites since the Revolution And the USA has allowed its government to deal in economic and social issues and welfareCharter of Rights and Freedoms also brings Canada closer to USA although it places less emphasis on individual and maintains supremacy of parliament Canada is still more respectful of authority more involved in private life of citizens and more supportive of group rights USA has strengthened it s government and introduced welfare It has somewhat moved away from individualism and placed emphasis on equality for groups It still has one of the weakest welfare sets and least number of labour partiesFree Trade and Cultural DistinctivenessFree trade treaty between Canada and US has divided Canadians Some fear it will eliminate their culture and maybe even their country as a separate state However Americans make no sense of such concernsPolitical union would mean having to deal with the difference between two governments Canadas parliament government with disciplined parties and US system of divided powers and no discipline Canadas value system resembles a british and french value system Its less materialistic and culturally superior to US Organizing Principles Two countries are different in basic principles Canada is more classaware more elitist lawabiding focused on the collective statist and more grouporiented than the USThis change was brought by the American Revolution and the split of British North America It was then reinforced by the media politics religion and socioeconomic structuresAmericans placed emphasis on individualism and achievements to motivate revolution US rejected alliances to Britain elitism nobility etc It was purely bourgeoiseCanada exists because Frenchspeaking and Englishspeaking Canadians fought against the liberal revolutions in US and France They wanted to create a conservative and monarchical society and wanted to protect minoritiesUS secluded itself from any british influenced and ideologically committed itself to a weak state with little military power Perspectives on American Revolution Canada and US according to Louis Hartz were settled mostly by middleclass which meant they lacked aristocracy and peasantry which twisted their political views Original liberal ideas from Europe became the conservative ideas of new countriesCanada was formed as a counterrevolutionary monarchical society that valued hierarchy religion authority and deference to leadersCanadian Identity All colonies that later became Canada had considerable political autonomyCanadians believe unlimited popular rule make it harder for minorities who are left in the hand of popular rule This is the cause for political intolerance in USA Elitism is necessary to maintain balance between popular rule and minority rightsConclusion Differences between USA and Canada can be traced back to American revolution2 American Ideology Being Canadian means being part of a community but being American means committing to an ideologyUSA still does not have a socialist or Tory party Country is still dominated by individualistic valuesAmerican government is an example of how founding fathers distrusted the state The government is divided and conflicted and has very little power compared to parliament governments where cabinets have unchecked powerUSA has checks and balances and different terms of office for both houses of govtIn Canada the state is seen as necessary for citizens to surviveDue to importance of laws and rights lawyers have been important instruments in bring about change because they can maneuver around these lawsMeritocracy US political culture is reinforced by its unique class structure and religious systemDefined by equality of respect and equality of opportunityOriginated from the fact US is a setter society with revolutionary ideologyAmericans did not believe in elitism no one had to pay respect to elitesMeritocracy in US was defined by more market freedom individual ownership of land higher wage structure supported by traditional liberal ecologyHard work and ambition were seen as qualities of a moral manIdeology The american gospel is characterized by four principles antistatism individualism populism and egalitarianismthe antistatism in US is a major source is why socialism is still weakIndividualismthe belief of collective is major negative image of socialists If a revolution is to happen in the US it will be most likely an anarchist not a socialist revolutionPopulismpopulism is the belief that the will of the people should dominate elites and that public choice is superior to professional choicepopulism is much stronger in US than Canada because of the extended use of referenda in USalmost all major figures in law enforcement are elected not appointedamericans almost always make a poor showing at the polls compared to Canadians 50 to 75 in recent yearsThis is due to in part to the institutionalization of populism
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