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POLS 2300 (129)
Chapter 9

Chapter 9 Summary Administrative State .docx

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Political Science
POLS 2300
Nanita Mohan

Chapter 9 Parties and Elections Page: 280-293, 302-307, 319-322 - Parties connect citizens and the political system - Only 6 out of 10 eligible voters vote - Common feth is that voters with money will be more influential - In the 19 century candidates would try to win over votes through means cuch as buying voters beer - Key point: if votes can be won by money then it undermines the point of the democratic process - Through elections candidates have also been criticized for ‘dumbing down’(ex. Over simplifying issues) Parties: Definition and Functions (282) - Political Parties- Organizations that offer slates of candidates to voters at election time. They recruit and select party candidates, raise money, develop policies and attempt to get citizens to vote for their candidates. Voluntary groups with a shared opinion. - Not all parties wish to win- some just wish to put forward their ideas to the public without any expectation (ex. Marijuana party) - Seven functions according to John Meisel that political parties play in democracy (see page 282-284 for full description of each: 1. Integrating citizens into the political system 2. Developing policy 3. Elite recruitment 4. Organization of government 5. Structuring the vote 6. Organizing public opinion 7. Interest aggregation The Origins and Evolution of Canada’s Party System The Nature of Brokerage Politics (284) - Canada’s two major political parties (the conservatives and the Liberals) can be traced to the 1840s and 1850s - The liberal Conservatives (ie. Conservatives) were under the power of Sir John MacDonald in Canada West and George- Etienne Cartier in Canada East · Had groups with conflicting views but MacDonald held them together with the goal of unifying based on a nation building system which soon became the National Policy (1878-9) Ø National Policy- Key elements include implementation of protective tariffs, encouragement of western settlement and creation of a transcontinental railroad to ship goods to new territories. - At the time on the other hand was comprising clear grits of Canada West and the Rouges of Canada East. Both shared admiration for the republican and individualist ideas of the US. Both the Grits and Rouge were extremely critical of the Roman Catholic Church · When Wilfred LaurierAssumed leadership of the Liberal Party in 1887 diverse elements were able to be mounded into a good political organization. - Liberals identified with free trade and provincial rights and after Louis Riel was hanged (1885) they appeared to be more sensitive to French Canadians - The dominate feature of Canadian politics during the 1860s and 1870s was the scramble to control distribution of government largesse. - Patronage- The awarding of favors such as contracts, jobs or public spending in a community, in exchange for political support. This was the central preoccupation of Canadian politics during the first several decades of confederation. It continues to be an important practice in Canada and other democracies, although when the exchange of support for government largesse is too obvious this is seen by many to border on corruption - The ‘open ballot’provided lots of opportunities for bribery coercion etc. - Staggered elections forced Candidates in many ridings to become ministerialists - (286) Andre Siegfried complained that the preoccupation with questions of material interest and public works tended to lower the general level of political life in Canada.Also believed that issues (such as between Catholics and Protestants) could have been addressed by political leaders but they choose not to · His remarks on the nature of party competition (found in box on page 297) are still relevant today - Elections are usually preceded by a barrage of new government programs and spending incentiviates as well as the nonchalant borrowing of elements of one party’s program by another party is still going on today - Canadas oldest parties have represented some what distinct traditions, particularly on matter concerning federalism and Canada- US relations - After 1968 Liberals came associated with strong central state, economic nationalism, and with ‘French power’. - Tories became associated with political decentralization - Conservatives also came to embrace notion of free trade - Historically dominate parties have continued to be much more flexible, opportunistic, dominated by their leaders. - Brokerage party system- ie. Two older parties at the federal level act as ‘brokers of ideas.. middlemen who select from all the ideas pressing for recognition as public policy those they think can be shaped to have widest appeal. - Politics in Canada lack class dimension. Conflict between classes take a back seat - RobertAlford described Canada as having the lowest level of class voting and explained it by, “ Class voting is low in Canada because the political parties are identified as repsentatives of regional, religious and ethnic groupings rather then as representatives of national class interest and this is due to lack of national integration. · Predicted class voting will increase once national unity is sorted outà prediction has not yet come true - Brokerage theory makes two fundamental claims about Canada’s two historically dominant political parties: 1. They do not appeal to specific socio economic groupings and lack cohesive ideological visions 2. The parties are flexible and opportunistic because this is necessary to preserve fragile unity of the nation - Janine Brodie and Jane Jenson argue in “Crisis, Challenge and Change”: · Brokerage theory views political parties as more or less passive transmission belts for societal demands · In the period following confederation, class, religion, language and other social differences competed with each other as potential support bases for the two federal parties · Explained non class nature of the Canadian party system The Role of Minor Parties in the Brokerage System (290) - By the summer of 1991 progressive conservatives suck to historic lows in public opinion polls
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