Introduction to Canadian Politics

Humanities & Social Sciences
Political Science
Course Code
POLI 2202
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered


Course Description
This course introduces students to Canada’s political traditions and culture, political socialization and participation, class and ethnic politics, the Quebec question, the electoral process, and political parties and advocacy groups in the Canadian governing system. Students are encouraged to enroll in both POLI 1102 (Introduction to Canadian Government) and POLI 2202 (Introduction to Canadian Politics) to enhance their university transfer if majoring in political science.
Course Content

1. Development of the Canadian Nation and State

This section provides an historical approach through which students may view Canada’s political development. Topics here include pre-confederation issues, territorial expansion, population growth, immigration, problems of nation-building, identity, and the development of and challenges to the Canadian state.


2. Political Culture and Political Socialization

The concepts of political culture and socialization are defined, and provide a method of examining Canadians and their political system. Significant political cleavages are examined as well as the concept of multiculturalism and the emergence of and challenges faced by Aboriginal peoples. The roles of class, gender, the media, and public opinion polls are explored.


3. Political Behavior

Canadian political behavior is examined through the study of the development of Canada’s political system, the role of political parties, the electoral system, and election processes. The role of advocacy groups, social movements, political lobbyists, and think tanks (or policy institutes) are reviewed in the context of the development of public policy.

Learning Activities

Instructor presentation of the course will involve the use of formal lectures, structured group work, in-class discussion, and student presentations or formal debates. Additional readings may be assigned for each course unit and placed on library reserve or via selected websites. Audio-visual and interactive materials may be used.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation is based on course objectives and in accordance with the policies of Douglas College and the Department of Political Science. A minimum of 40% of the student’s course grade will be assigned to examinations, a minimum of 30% will be assigned to the various components of a formal research essay, and a maximum of 30% will be based upon components such as quizzes, short essays, participation, and class presentations. Specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor in course outlines.


One example of an evaluation system:

Mid-term exam                    25%

Presentation                        10%

Participation                         10%

Research essay                    30%

Final exam                          25%

                                Total:  100%

Learning Outcomes

Upon conclusion of the course, successful students will be able to:

  1. outline various themes in the development of Canadian political traditions and culture;
  2.  describe various institutions and processes such as political parties, interest or advocacy groups, political socialization, electoral systems, and electoral behaviour in the Canadian political system;
  3.  describe the impact of such institutions and processes on the Canadian political system;
  4.  apply understanding of course objectives and content in a formal research essay;
  5.  pursue study in more advanced courses in Canadian government and politics.
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


Textbooks and readers are selected based on instructor expertise and preference, and in consultation with the Department of Political Science. There are a range of textbooks and readers that can fulfill course objectives.

One example is

Dyck, Rand. Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches. Sixth edition (Toronto: Nelson, 2011).



No prerequisite courses.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for POLI 2202
Athabasca University (AU) AU POLI 309 (3)
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO PSC 106 (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU POL 104 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU POLI 1120 (3)
Langara College (LANG) LANG POLI 2XXX (3)
Okanagan College (OC) OC POLI 2XX (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU POL 222 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU POLI 1110 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU POLS 234 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO POLI 101 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV POLI 2nd (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) DOUG POLI 1102 (3) & DOUG POLI 2202 (3) = UNBC POLS 200 (3) & UNBC POLS 2XX (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC POLS 200 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV POSC 2XX (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC POLI 101 (1.5)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU POLI 2nd (3)

Course Offerings

Summer 2023