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Introduction to Canadian Politics

Course Code: POLI 2202
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Department: Political Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: Winter
course overview

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.

Methods of Instruction

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.

curriculum 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 schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.