Lecture – October 9, 2012
What does a society-centered approach to politics entail?
Once we start discussing people, and various peoples place in the
political order, politics gets more intense and more emotional.
When states decide peoples political claims it becomes the
recognition of some and the over looking of others.
o Self worth, identity and political justice.
o Determination of who is politically significant and who is not.
State policies also distribute power (not just about recognition) but
once a group is politically recognized they automatically become
more powerful than those that are not politically recognized.
Efforts of different groups to gain recognition – minorities trying to
be explicitly stated in the constitution (constitutional recognition)
Different groups in Canada have a different vision of Canada
o Politically arrangement is driving their policy stance
o Disagree over what kind of nation Canada is and should be.
What are the four historical cleavages that Canada’s political leadership
has been forced to respond to?
o Dissatisfied with the recognition they have
o Claim that their sovereignty was not acknowledged as pre
o 1960s when there was a new form of modern Quebec
o Claim to be a distinct society – French/Canadian people
o Every single Canadian is deserving of recognition
o Every single Canadian has a culture and each culture is
deserving of this culture.
o Recurring episodes of regional conflict
o Territorial defined interests
Western and Atlantic regionalism
Tell us that Canada is complex and these different interests bring to
bear on states
Bring to light different views on how the Canadian state ought to be
and how politics should be arranged.
o Look incompatible
o Question for the state becomes – is their any way to satisfy
the demands of all these cleavages and if not, who do you
chose to satisfy?
More and more groups are being added making to
more complex. o No single vision of Canada – multiple complex visions that
conflict which lead to fundamental disagreements that
federal legislation ahs to broker.
What does the ‘Compact of Provinces’ vision of Canada entail? Which
cleavage does it correspond to?
Compact of provinces flows out of regionalism
o Various provinces came together and formed Canada
o Community of provinces and all of them have equal
o All provinces have to have the same power and political
o Gives rise to a number of different proposals
Defend the powers of the provinces against the
Allows provincial governments to have the
power to serve their local communities in how
Clashes with Quebec wanting to be recognized as a
distinct society – unequal
A greater say for provinces at the federal level – Triple
Elected – equal number of senators
Equal – senators should be elected by the voters
of each province
Effective – the senate would actually have
sufficient power in parliament to oversee federal
policy making on matters of provincial concern.
o The west supports this point of view the most – because they
believe the federal system works for central Canada and
against the West.
What does the ‘Compact of Two Founding Peoples’ vision of Canada entail
and what are its two variants? Which cleavage does it correspond to?
Takes French and English nations or founding peoples
Federal bargain is understood as the compact of two founding
peoples – British and French
Corresponds to the Linguistic Cleavage
o Two nations and those nations each have their own territory
Quebec – French
ROC (rest of Canada)
o Government of Quebec has a specific responsibility that is
fundamentally different to any other province The political expression of a group of people
The homeland of French Canada
Equal in status to ROC.
French nation and Quebec are inseparable under this
A nation with its own institution of apparatus in
o Political ramifications
Fundamental reconstruction of federal power
Decentralization from Ottawa to Quebec