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Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, 9th Edition

By Rand Dyck, Christopher Cochrane, Kelly Blidook
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Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176883886
ISBN-13: 9780176883881
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 9th

For more than 30 years, Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches has presented the reality of Canadian government and politics in a comprehensive yet lean and readable manner. It provides the tools and foundational knowledge to help students become better informed, more involved, and more critical citizens. Students will be deeply engaged in the clash of interests from which Canadian political activity has stemmed and will be equally fascinated by topics related to political culture, the mass media, public opinion, elections, and advocacy groups that will introduce them to the vibrant and dynamic world of Canadian politics. Change in recent years both from within Canada and outside its borders challenges some of the foundational assumptions of modern liberal democracy. The new ninth edition emphasizes two themes: the relative stability of Canada’s political institutions in the face of rapidly changing social, economic, and international environments, and the political decisions that are necessary to guarantee the perseverance of Canada’s values, country, and system of government.


  • *NEW* Discussions of recent political topics such as the Philpott and Wilson-Raybould controversy and challenge of PM authority, the revised NAFTA agreement, and the #MeToo movement have been added to the text.
  • *NEW* Data and graphs integrated throughout the text have been updated through the end of 2019.
  • *NEW* The most recent 2019 election and results have been thoroughly integrated throughout the new edition.
  • *NEW* Chapter 4 on Indigenous Peoples in Canada has been reinvigorated and continues to embed non-Indigenous peoples in the New World within Indigenous timescales, rather than the reverse.
  • *NEW* The new chapter on Political Economy replaces the previous edition's chapter on Class and expands the focus to include alternative models of Political Economy.
  • *NEW* The new edition includes updated coverage of recent changes to Canada's Senate, social media's role in politics, and LGBTQ+ gender perspectives.
  • Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches meets head-on the challenging concepts of Canada's political system: the systemic inequalities in political power, the notion that those in power do whatever it takes to enhance their chances of re-election, the enormous pressure of corporations and business groups, the predominance of the prime minister, and the ever-present influence of the bureaucracy; however, it also balances these difficult aspects by suggesting possible reforms and alternative arrangements.
  • The text explores the "environment" of the Canadian political system, emphasizing its societal setting with discussions of regionalism, Indigenous peoples, the French–English cleavage, immigration and diversity, gender, class, political economy, urban/rural location, and the global environment.
  • The text includes chapters on all the institutions of Canadian government, including the Constitution, federalism, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the executive, bureaucracy, Parliament, and the judiciary.
  • The Critical Approaches feature emphasizes key political decisions and explains the various factors that had to be considered in order to make informed decisions.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • About the Authors
  • Part One: Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Approaching the Study of Politics
  • Chapter 2: Institutional Foundations and the Evolution of the State
  • Part Two: The Societal Context: Cleavages and Identities
  • Chapter 3: Regionalism
  • Chapter 4: Indigenous Peoples
  • Chapter 5: French Canada and Quebec Question
  • Chapter 6: Immigration and Diversity
  • Chapter 7: Gender
  • Chapter 8: Political Economy
  • Chapter 9: Canada?s External Environment: The United States and the World
  • Part Three: Linking People to Government
  • Chapter 10: The Canadian Political Culture
  • Chapter 11: Political Socialization, the Mass Media, and Public Opinion Polls
  • Chapter 12: Elections and the Electoral System
  • Chapter 13: Political Parties and the Party System
  • Chapter 14: The Election Campaign, Voting, and Political Participation
  • Chapter 15: Advocacy Groups, Social Movements, and Lobbying
  • Part Four: The Constitutional Context
  • Chapter 16: The Canadian Constitution and Constitutional Change
  • Chapter 17: The Federal System
  • Chapter 18: The Charter of Rights and Freedoms
  • Part Five: Governing
  • Chapter 19: The Executive: Crown, Prime Minister, and Cabinet
  • Chapter 20: The Bureaucracy
  • Chapter 21: Parliament
  • Chapter 22: The Judiciary
  • Appendix A Constitution Act, 1867 (excerpts)
  • Appendix B Constitution Act, 1982, Schedule B
  • Glossary
  • Index

Author Information

Christopher Cochrane

Christopher Cochrane has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto, a Master's degree in Political Science from McGill University in Montreal, and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and History from St. Thomas University in Fredericton. He was the Banque Nationale Fellow at the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada [2000-1] and a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy [2009-10]. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and the University of Toronto-Scarborough (UTSC). Professor Cochrane studies ideological disagreement and its implications for political decision-making and party competition in Canada.

Kelly Blidook

Kelly Blidook is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Memorial University. He received his PhD from McGill University. His research focuses mostly upon the various behaviours of Canadian Members of Parliament. His book, Constituency Influence in Parliament: Countering the Centre (UBC Press) was published in 2012.

Rand Dyck

Rand Dyck was born and raised in Calgary. After graduating from the University of Alberta with his B.A. in Political Science, he found the political culture of Ontario more to his liking, and took his M.A. at Carleton University and his Ph.D. at Queen's. Between his graduate degrees, he experienced the life of a public servant in Ottawa, but opted instead for an academic career. He taught at Laurentian University in Sudbury for 34 years, holding all sorts of administrative positions including department chair and vice dean, and took early retirement in 2005, upon which he was titled Professor Emeritus. He now teaches at Carleton University as an Adjunct Professor. Among his many accomplishments and awards, Rand received both the Laurentian University Teaching Excellence Award and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award in 2002. He was cited for his engaging teaching style and for his extraordinary commitment to his students, many of whom became life-long friends. One particular claim to fame was his organization of the annual Laurentian University Model Parliament held in the House of Commons chamber in Ottawa. As a Political Science professor, he has a long list of published articles, chapters, public speeches, and book reviews, and continues to be asked by the media for comments on current political developments.