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COURSE NUMBER: POLI 320
COURSE TITLE: CANADIAN GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
NAME OF INSTRUCTOR: Dr John Hiemstra
CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION: credits 3 (hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 0 - hrs lab 0)
CALENDAR DESCRIPTION: This course examines the relationship between Canada's federal and provincial governments and the place of French Canada, regionalism, multiculturalism, Canadian nationalism and aboriginal nations within the Canadian state. It examines the history of Canada's constitutional evolution, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Prerequisite: POLI 205
REQUIRED TEXTS:
  • Christopher Cochrane, Kelly Blidook, and Rand Dyck, Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, 8th edition, Scarborough: Thomson Nelson, 2017.
  • The daily newspaper.  Students are expected to read a daily, quality, Canadian, newspaper such as The Edmonton Journal, National Post, or Globe and Mail.  [Available in paper in the library or electronically online.] This must inform our discussions of key themes throughout this course.
  • A few additional readings will be required as the course unfolds, and will be available on library-reserve or Moodle.
MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
Mid-term Exam25%
Argumentative Essay20%
Essay Proposal5%
In-class debate10%
Class participation10%
Final Exam30%
100%
COURSE OBJECTIVES:
  1. Students will develop an understanding and appreciation of the historically diverse and sometimes divided character of Canada’s people(s).
  2. Students will explore whether / how the Canadian political practices and government institutions were shaped in response to the diversity within the political community, or the reverse.
  3. Students will understand the structure and operation of the Canadian political system, and assess how well it works.
  4. Students will understand how different ‘visions of life,’ including Christian visions of life, help shape the ways people think about government & plurality; and how they ought to relate.
  5. Students will learn skills of research, framing, and arguing positions in class and in debates.
LECTURE TOPICS: INTRODUCTION
  • 1. Review of basic concepts (system, gov’t, state, society)
    • How do the theories explain system and dynamics?
  • 2. Overview of history and institutions of Canadian government
  • 3. ‘Who’ forms the “Canadian state”?
PART I: SOCIETY & ‘POLITICAL COMMUNITY’: WHO WE ARE & HOW IT MATTERS
  • 4. Regionalism & federalism
  • 5. French – English
  • 6. Indigenous Peoples
  • 7. Ethnocultural Minorities
  • 8. Gender
  • 9. Class
  • 10. Religion
PART II: REPRESENTATIVE SYSTEMS, POLITICS & OUTCOMES
  • 11. Reflective Pause: Political community - representation - government
    • Political culture
  • 12. Electoral System
  • 13. Political Parties and the Party System
  • 14. Interest Groups & Social Movements
PART III: THE POLITICAL SYSTEM
  • Canadian Constitution
    • 15. Canadian Constitution and Change
    • 16. Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Key Government Institutions
    • 17. The Executive: Crown, Prime Minister, and Cabinet
    • 18. Parliament
    • 19. The Judiciary
    • 20. Reflective Pause: Revisiting the role of the state
  • 21. In-Class Presentation of argumentative essays


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