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Canada (158,171)
Sociology (1,053)
SOCA02H3 (310)


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University of Toronto Scarborough
Malcolm Mac Kinnon

CHAPTER 14 POLITICS INTRODUCTION FREE TRADE AND DEMOCRACY A Gallup poll in 1988, showed the Liberals with a commanding 43% of the popular vote; the Progressive Conservatives (PCs) with 31%; the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 22%. Canadian Alliance for Trade and Job Opportunities (CATJO) They had a campaign budget larger than that of the two opposition parties combined. They funded a media blitz promoting the PCs and their free trade policies. They argued that if goods and services could be bought and sold across the border without hindrance, and capital invested without restraint, good jobs would proliferate and Canadas future would be assured. Most Canadians disagreed with CATJOs rosy assessment. 54% opposed free trade; 35% supported it. A majority of Canadians sensed that free trade might open Canada to harmful competition with giant American companies, thus leading to job losses and deteriorating living standards. CATJO succeeded in overcoming some of these fears because its media campaign hammered the pro-free-trade message into the minds of the Canadian public and drew attention away from the opposition. On election day, the PCs won with 43% of the popular vote Six weeks later (January 1 , 1989) the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement was implemented. The sole sponsor of CATJO was the Business Council on National Issues (BCNI), an organization comprising the chief executive officers of 150 of Canadas leading corporations. These were people with a clear stake in free trade. Their companies stood to benefit from increased business activity between Canada and the U.S. and unrestricted freedom to invest wherever profits promised to be higher. The 1988 free trade election allowed a diverse range of Canadians to express conflicting views and in the end, the people did get the government they elected. However, few groups can act like CATJO and put together $18 million for a media campaign aimed at swaying the hearts and minds of the Canadian people. From the mid-1970s until the early 1990s, a wave of competitive elections swept across many formerly non-democratic countries. Genuine democracy is not based on just elections. In addition, large classes of people must win legal protection of their rights and freedoms for democracy to take root and grow. www.notesolution.com This has not yet happened in most of the world. Some analysts believe that politics in the rich industrialized countries in less likely to be shaped by class inequality in the future. Others hold that the marriage of home computers and elections will allow citizens to get more involved in politics by voting often and directly on the Internet. WHAT IS POLITICS? KEY TERMS Politics is a machine that determines who gets what, when and how. Power: is the ability to control others, even against their will. Having more power than others do, gives you the ability to get more valued things sooner. Having less power than others do, means you get fewer valued things later. The use of power sometimes involves force. e.g., one way of operating a system for distributing jobs, money, education, and other valued things is by throwing people who do not agree with the system in jail. o In this case, people obey political rules because they are afraid to disobey. o People agree with the distribution system or at least accept it grudgingly. For instance, most people pay their taxes without much pressure from the CRA and pay their parking tickets without serving jail time. They recognize the right of their rulers to control the political machine. When most people basically agree with how the political machine is run, raw power becomes authority. Authority: is legitimate, institutionalized power. Power is legitimate when people regard its use as morally correct or justified. Power is institutionalized when the norms and statuses of social organizations govern its use. These norms and statuses define how much authority should be used, how individuals can achieve authority, and how much authority is attached to each status in the organization. Max Weber described three ideal bases on which authority can rest (while stressing that real-world cases often rested on varying mixes of the pure types): 1. Traditional Authority Particularly in tribal and feudal societies, rulers inherit authority through family or clan ties. The right of a family or clan to monopolize leadership is widely believed to derive from the will of a god. e.g., King Louis XIV of France. 2. Legal-Rational Authority www.notesolution.com
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