Explain the formative relationship between forces of Canadian political culture and Canada’s political and state institutions.


Due to the current global corona virus pandemic, this course, which is normally delivered face-to-face, will be
delivered over a fifteen-week semester through remote learning methods. Students will require regular daily
access to a laptop, computer, or smartphone and WIFI. Students may also want to download the eLearn, MS Teams, and WebEx mobile apps to their smartphones.

This is an asynchronous online course hosted at e Learn.capu.ca. As an asynchronous course, students are invited to participate in all learning activities at their own pace and time. There are no scheduled, on-line classes. However, in order to enjoy success in the course, it is important that students read all class materials on the e Learn site, as well as assigned textbook readings, with great care. More so than in a face-to-face class, students must take full responsibility for their own learning in this course.


The instructor will be in regular contact with students about details relating to course materials, assignments, and activities through the “Announcements” link on the course eLearn site. Check for these announcements regularly.

The instructor will also be available to students to discuss course material, assignments, course activities and various forms of assessment through e-mail and MS Teams. I will check e-mail regularly and will get back to you shortly, likely within a couple of hours and certainly within a day (weekends excluded). Virtual office hours will be held twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:30 PM on MS Teams. If opting for a live MS Teams consultation, please email in advance to book a time with the instructor.



Knowledge about the Canadian system of government is important for job preparation of all kinds, as the policy decisions of government affect every career. Through class discussion and debate, role-play,consideration of politicians’ perspectives, current events, and readings, this course will examine the basic design, decision-making processes, and democratic credentials of such institutions as parliamentary democracy, the Crown, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, federalism, political parties, the electoral system and the constitution.

POL 104 01

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POL 104 is an approved Self and Society course for Cap Core requirements.


(Required course texts can be ordered directly by students from the Capilano University Book Store.

https://books.capilanou.ca/ Arrangements can be made by students to have course texts delivered by the
book store to the student’s home).

Malcolmson, Patrick, Myers, Richard, Baier, Gerald, & Bateman, Thomas M.J. (2016). The Canadian Regime.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press (Referred to below as MMBB).
Charlton, Mark, and Paul Barker, eds. (2015) Crosscurrents: Reader’s Choice. Custom Course Publication.
Toronto: Nelson Education. (Referred to below as Charlton and Barker)

Daily editions of the Vancouver Sun or another major newspaper (e.g. The Globe and Mail, The National Post,
The Edmonton Journal, the Calgary Herald, the Winnipeg Free Press, The Toronto Star – but not The
Province). On-line versions are fine.


On successful completion of this course, students will be able to do the following:
– Define connections between key concepts such as politics, government, state, nation, and power;

– Explain the formative relationship between forces of Canadian political culture and Canada’s political and state institutions;

– Analyse, from a variety of theoretical perspectives, the role of each of federalism, the executive, the legislature, the judiciary, elections, political parties, and the constitution in Canadian political life;

– Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of scholarly arguments concerning the intended purposes and appropriate responsiveness of central Canadian political institutions using principles like democracy, liberty, equality, fairness, and justice;

– Explain connections between newspaper articles and scholarly commentary on the appropriate nature and
function of Canadian political institutions.
Students who complete this Self and Society course will be able to do the following:

• Identify potential root causes of local/global problems and how they affect local/global cultures,
economies, politics, and policies.

• Assess and evaluate individual and collective responsibilities within a diverse and interconnected global society.

• Synthesize a range of differing community perspectives on ethics and justice and explain how these perspectives can inform structural change.

• Explain how contexts (e.g. cultural, historical, colonial, economic, technological) shape identity formation and social structures.


This course introduces students to the institutions of Canadian government at the national level and examines the social and political environment that shapes those institutions.

This course is divided into the following four parts:

1. the first part is concerned with developing a critical approach to examining Canadian politics as well as an appreciation for Canadian political culture and its multiple divisions;

2. the second part is concerned with engaging in a critical appraisal of central institutions (e.g. the Crown, Prime Minister, Cabinet, Parliament, and Judiciary);

3. the third part then widens the scope of analysis by examining the politics of representation as this bears upon the performance of central institutions (e.g. elections, political parties, pressure groups);