POLI 410 Final Exam Paul Firobind.docx - Take home...

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Take home instructions: If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend listening to the zoom session #5 (which outlines the expectations for the exam) before beginning the exam. A few things to keep in mind: You are to answer one question from each of the two sections Your answer must present a clear thesis/argument and should draw on at least three relevant authors (per answer) Your answer should substantially engage with the relevant material covered in course lectures You do not need to include a bibliography Please use in-text citations (author, year, page number) Each answer should be 1000 words (+/- 10%) Good luck! Take home questions: Section I: Answer one of the following two questions: 1. What is political culture? As a concept, is it a helpful tool for examining party politics? And how might the concept of political culture help us understand the organizational and ideological contours of political parties in Canada? 2. How has Canada’s single member plurality (SMP) electoral system affected party politics? Your answer should discuss Canada’s SMP electoral system in relation to party organization, voter behaviour, and political representation. Section II: Answer one of the following three questions: 3. Does the contemporary Conservative party of Canada remain the carrier of toryism? Why or why not? 4. The Liberal party of Canada has often been referred to as Canada’s “natural governing party.” Why? Does this moniker still accurately describe the contemporary Liberal party? 5. Are the barriers that account for the underrepresentation of women and visible minorities the same in Canada? Why/why not?
How has Canada’s single member plurality (SMP) electoral system affected party politics? Your answer should discuss Canada’s SMP electoral system in relation to party organization, voter behaviour, and political representation. The Canadian voting system, known as single-member plurality or SMP, is an electoral system that has the advantage of simplicity, and generally allows for the formation of a stable majority capable of governing without deadlock. Its limitation is less pluralism and therefore less representation of the diversity of the electorate... Indeed, two major assumptions are made about the Canadian electoral system. Firstly, that the electoral system has had a lesser and almost non-existent influence on the system of political parties. Secondly, that the party system was a major actor in nationalization while preserving the sectional cleavages. Thus, we will first explore how Alain Cairns challenged the assumptions about the electoral system based on an institutional argument. Then, we examine how Duverger's First Past the Post Law explains current political representation in Canada. Finally, we will discuss how the emergence of the "third parties" observed by Maurice Pinard offers an alternative for voters and influences electoral behavior.

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