St. Thomas University
Department of Political Science
Political Science 1103A
Law, Power, and Canadian Politics
Fall, 2004

Professor T. Bateman
HCH 204
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 - 11:30am, or by appointment


It's hard to know who poses the greater threat to a democratic regime: the person who thinks he (it is usually a ‘he') knows everything about politics and has a one-line answer for all our ills; or the person blissfully ignorant of even the obvious details of political life.

This course attempts to remedy both ills. It will provide the conceptual and institutional background that a citizen needs to participate intelligently in the political life of this country It will offer a sense of the complexity of political issues and encourages you to understand both well-intentioned and malevolent people who purport to act in the public interest. It will also provide the conceptual and institutional background that a citizen needs to participate intelligently in the political life of this country. This course will introduce you to Canada as a liberal-democratic, parliamentary regime organized along federal lines.

Required Readings:

Patrick Malcolmson and Richard Myers, The Canadian Regime: An Introduction to Parliamentary Government in Canada. 2nd edition. (Peterborough: Broadview, 2002).

Thomas Bateman and Roger Epp, eds., Braving the New World: Readings in Contemporary Politics. 3rd edition. (Scarborough: Thomson Nelson, 2004).


Assignment #1 10%
Assignment #2 10%
Assignment #3 15%
Mid-term exam 25%
Unscheduled quizzes/assignments 10%
Final Exam* 30%

*Note: Final exam date is December 9, 9:00am.

Important Information

1. Unless otherwise noted, the Political Science Department Guidelines will govern this course.
2. Students' travel arrangements must accommodate the exam schedule.
3. Plagiarism will be penalized to the full extent of STU policy.
4. Late assignments will be penalized 1 point per day or part thereof late. An assignment marked out of 5 points which is one day late will have 20% deducted.
5. Assignments not submitted in class – at the beginning of class – on the due date will be considered late.
6. All out-of-class assignments must be word-processed. No hand-written work will be accepted.
7. All such assignments must be stapled once in the top-left corner. No covers or folders, please.
8. Students may be required to withdraw from this for reasons of repeated, unexcused absences.

Lecture Outline and Readings

Week of: Topic Readings

Sept 9 Introduction

Sept 14 Principles of the Canadian Regime MM, chapter 1
BNW, Putnam

Sept 21 The Canadian Constitution MM, chapter 2; appendix
BNW, Lomasky

Sept 28 Responsible Government in Canada MM, chapter 3
BNW, Sunstein

Oct 5 The Federal Principle MM, chapter 4; appendix
BNW, McCormick

Oct 12 Entrenched Rights: The Charter MM, chapter 5; appendix
BNW, Whitaker

Oct 19 The Executive Branch: Crown, Cabinet, MM, chapter 6
and Administration BNW, Savoie

Oct 26 The Legislative Branch: Commons and MM, chapter 7
Senate BNW, Urquhart

Nov 2 The Judicial Branch: The Courts MM, chapter 8
BNW, Bateman

Nov 9 Elections and Election Machinery MM, chapter 9
BNW, Gibbins and Berdahl

Nov 16 Political Parties MM, chapter 10
BNW, Broadbent

Nov 23 Media, Interest Groups, and Participation MM, chapter 11
BNW, Patterson

Nov 30 Catch-up and Review