POLI 1111: Canadian Government and Politics

This course is an investigation into the Canadian system of government and the central questions in this country's political life. Students learn about our constitutional arrangements, the structure and processes of our national government and the relationship between politics and society. Students examine the future of democracy as analyzed through the political effects of globalization, concentrated economic power and the ideology of limited government.


Upon successful completion of POLI 1111, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of facts, concepts, and terms relating to Canadian government and politics.
  • Write about Canadian government and politics in ways that show broad understanding, analysis, and synthesis of your readings.
  • Explain the workings of component parts of the Canadian government and their interrelationship.
  • Assess the reality of Canadian democracy.
  • Critically reflect on your political ideology and positions.
  • Outline and explain your priorities for change in the Canadian political system.
  • Explain how the individual can have an impact on power in Canada in ways that "make a difference."
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of media treatment of political issues, how it affects issue perception by yourself and others, and how you can glean reliable information from media information.
  • Analyze and respond to current events affecting Canadian government and politics.
  • Analyze the political effects of globalization, concentrated economic power, and the ideology of limited government.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to become an active, responsible, engaged, and effective citizen.

Course outline

POLI 1111: Canadian Government and Politics is divided into three units, which are further divided into topics of study:

Unit 1: The Canadian State and Structures of Governance

  • 1.1 Introduction to Politics
  • 1.2 The Constitution and the Charter
  • 1.3 Federalism: Levels of Government
  • 1.4 Division of Power: Branches of Government

Unit 2: Democratic Participation

  • 2.1 The Canadian Party System
  • 2.2 Elections
  • 2.3 Interest Groups
  • 2.4 The Media in Politics

Unit 3: Politics and Canadian Society

  • 3.1 Canadian Political Culture
  • 3.2 Canadian Regionalism
  • 3.3 The Politics of Nationalism: Quebec and First Nations
  • 3.4 Multiculturalism, Minorities, and Globalization

Required text and materials

Students will receive all course materials including the textbooks in their course package.

  1. Brooks, S. (2015). Canadian Democracy. 8th edition. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
    Type: ISBN: 9780199011155


  1. Brooks, S. (2016). Canadian Democracy (updated 8th edition). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
    Type: ISBN: 978-0-19-902876-4

Either edition is acceptable.

Additional requirements

Computer with Internet is required for this course.


Please be aware that due to COVID-19 safety guidelines all in-person exams have been suspended. As such, all final exams are currently being delivered through ProctorU, which has an approximate fee of $35 involved. There will be more information in your course shell, on how to apply, if your course has a final exam.

In order to successfully complete this course, you must obtain at least 50% on the final examination and 50% overall. The following chart shows how the final grade is determined for this course.

Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 15%
Web Discussions 15%
Final Exam * 40%
Total 100%

* Mandatory

Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the "mail" tool in the Learning Environment or by phone. Students will receive the necessary contact information starting the course.

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