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Politics matters... whether we live in a free democratic society, under the Taliban or the Nazis, whether we pay attention to politics or not. . Definition... Politics is about the authoritative allocation of scarce resources, the benefits and the burdens of society…Who wins? Who loses?.

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  1. Politics matters...whether we live in a free democratic society, under the Taliban or the Nazis, whether we pay attention to politics or not. Definition... Politics is about the authoritative allocation of scarce resources, the benefits and the burdens of society…Who wins? Who loses?

  2. email • A Cree World by Doug Cuthand he writes “Every so often the Canadian government comes forward with so-called self-government legislation, but it comes with strings attached. It is really self-administration, or worse, neocolonialism, with the chiefs and councils acting as the new Indian agents.” • I also read recently, “Hence while formal methods of control like the implementation of administrative structures, the stationing of military forces, and most importantly the incorporation of the natives as subjects of the metropolitan government, neocolonialism suggests an indirect form of control through economic and cultural dependence. In this case neocolonialism describes the continued control of former colonies through ruling native elites compliant with neocolonial powers, populations that are exploited for their labour and resources in order to feed an insatiable appetite for finished physical or cultural commodities made by the metropole.” I don’t think I have to explain to who I am referring to here but soon we’ll be voting them into our ____legislature • I’m a firm believer that change has to come from the bottom. I do not mean the negative connotations of “bottom of the barrel” or ‘bottom of the totem pole.” I’m referring to the community, local people that give the majority of their precious time to affecting change. For all our community people without ‘title’ working endlessly to ‘help out’ where they can. The individuals, who put it a full day at work, go home to make supper, spend time with their family and then rush off to community meetings hoping to solve social injustice issues and to lobby politicians. These are my heroes and the ones who deserve respect. • Ok, back to work since I got my Cree blood boiling….:)

  3. What’s the good life?

  4. What is a need? Who decides? “Who gets what, when, and how?” ~Harold Lasswell

  5. Who exercises power? What values and purposes guide those who hold power? Power powerpower

  6. Hello Professor Alexander, I hope that this email finds you well. My name is Michael and I'm the new special features editor at The Mark (www.themarknews.com) I'm planning a new series that I thought might interest you. I'm asking academics this week the following question: Who owns Canada? We're looking for the person - whether politician, business person, thought leader, a senator, etc. - who you believe wields more influence than anyone else in this country. Is it the person with the most political influence? The most money? Is it a media mogul? An athlete? A lobbyist? If you're interested, please submit a short piece (300-500 words) along with a brief biography and a photo of yourself. I would also like to briefly note that The Mark has a publishing deal in place with Yahoo.com, Canada.com, and The Financial Post. I sincerely hope that you can participate in this series. Please let me know. All the best, Michael

  7. What’s the difference between power and influence?

  8. Study of Politics • Critics • Spectators • Participants

  9. Should we allocate public funds: • to ensure that rural communities have access to quality healthcare providers and services?  • To fund alternative energy research? • o diversify Atlantic Canada’s economy? • To defend Canadian sovereignty over Arctic waters? • To lower university tuition costs? • What's the relationship between human rights and foreign trade? • What are the democratic implications of an increasing concentration of ownership of the media? Should public funds be allocated to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)? • What are the politics of veganism? • Should we censor the Internet?  Can we? • If you can get a driver’s license when you are 16 years old, should you also have the right to vote at that age? • What role does the 100 mile diet play in the development of sustainable communities?

  10. Study of Politics • Value free? • An art and a science: • a branch of social conduct • What’s your point of view? • Values • Habits of mind • Mental shortcuts

  11. www.InuitQ.ca

  12. Government & Politics • Government is the process that makes and enforces rules and decisions for society. • Politics is the activity of reconciling conflicts and gathering support that makes government possible.


  14. Politics occurs throughout society, even within the workplace or the family.Societal needs & demands change over time. Politics is Everything?

  15. Distinctions • Government is the formal mechanism or structure through which we collectively make and implement public choices. • Public policies determine how wealth and power are distributed in the society • those policies in turn affect all of us • our income • our safety • our access to clean water, medicine, & education • even our life expectancy

  16. Public Policy? • What do we mean by policy? • How do we analyse it? • …and how can we try to address it?

  17. Africville : “"We are sorry.“ 2010 Isolated from Halifax proper, Africville became the preferred site for undesirable facilities such as: • Rockhead Prison (1853) • "night-soil" disposal pits, • the Infectious Diseases Hospital (1870s) • and the Trachoma Hospital (1905). As a further insult to the residents, the area was refused by the City of Halifax basic utilities such as sanitary water, sewage, fire protection and street lights. Nevertheless, Africville remained – until forced to relocate in the late 1960s – a close-knit community, anchored by the Seaview African Baptist Church. Mayor Peter Kelly: $3-million settlement between the city and the former residents of Africville. Kelly asked for forgiveness and apologized to community elders, including those who did not live to see the settlement come to fruition, for the pain and loss of dignity they experienced when the community was taken apart in the 1960s.

  18. What do we mean by policy? • A formulated set of choices about objectives: • Which ones? • How to achieve them? • Which are most important? • How can we avoid conflicts between objectives? • What organisations say they will do… • What do they actually do • How they do it...what tools, what resources • Whether they realize the objectives/goals or not... • Importantly, public policy analyses includes studying both action and inaction.

  19. Impacts of policies • What results of public policy do people “see”? • Rules and regulations • Public/private agencies • People and personalities • Projects and programmes • Lack of policy • How do public policies affectour lives? • Assets and people’s access to them • Range & viability of strategies open to people • Vulnerability • Outcomes

  20. Public policy tends to LAG in a world of such rapid change! ...Communication Technologies Genetic Manipulation International Security Threats Global Warming and Climate Change...

  21. Studying politics involves studying change... Do you think we are in a period of “felt transition”? If so, how so?

  22. Governments resisting change • Sometimes, governments do not serve society’s needs, particularly in rapidly changing times. • Sometimes, IF a government fails to adjust to society’s changes, people will organize outside of it in an effort to force it to act (through social movements or through revolution). • G20 in Toronto

  23. Political actors Governments ARE major political actors, BUT they are NOT the only ones. Individuals communities, interest groups, political parties, news media, business interests, professional associations, international organizations, etc.

  24. Political action • elections and campaigns • law making • lobbying • court rulings • letters to the editor • demonstrations outside of town hall • war • bombing a building • burning the Quran • drawing a political cartoon • composing spoken word • Politics includes activities that are • legal and illegal • local and global • mundane and dramatic

  25. Economics & Politics • When we talk about a political system, we also refer to its economic system. However, no particular economic system has to go with a particular political system. For example: • The U.S. has a democratic political system and a capitalist economic system, but some other democracies have a socialist economic system, and some authoritarian political systems follow a capitalist economic system. • These distinctions will become more clear through the semester.

  26. When we’re studying politics, remember that it is an ancient field of study.

  27. Approaches to studying politics • Political scientists who focus on normative questions seek to discover the ideal way that politics shouldwork, in hopes of improving our political institutions. • Concerned with moral or ethicalquestions

  28. What’s the good life? values

  29. Themes for this Term • Environment • Rights • Communication • Identity • Science and Technology

  30. Community-based • Innovative • Curiosity-driven • Policy-relevant • Participatory Teaching Approach:

  31. ...so why is this discipline calledpolitical ‘science’?

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