This course aims to give students a framework for understanding the evolution of Canadian public policy, as well as reviewing some of the major issues and debates in Canadian politics

Format and Evalution

The first section of the course introduces students to the general approach adopted by many political scientists to explaining policy change and variation. It also briefly reviews some of the main ideological underpinnings or justifications for public policy, and charts the major currents in Canadian political culture.

The second section reviews the major institutions in Canadian politics and their effect on policy dynamics and outputs: federalism, the Charter, parliamentary government, and first-past-the-post electoral systems. Finally, the third section delves into the societal and organizational context of Canadian politics. In particular, it looks at the shape and behavior of the electorate, of Canadian interest groups and advocacy groups, and the various political tensions that relate to diversity in Canadian society.

Students are then expected to use this material to inform their analysis of a particular policy field in their term essay.