Sorry for being late with this entry, everyone. Last week I had another midterm, second Psychology midterm, so I was basically just studying the whole time. While I could’ve posted after the midterm I basically dove into research paper stuff, which has been difficult. Picking two countries with acceptable sources to accompany them is a lot harder than one would expect, not taking in to account my own ability to properly represent a country and the injustices it faces. My perspective is still a bit limited but I’m trying my best and have gathered a great amount of sources to boost my paper’s credibility.
Anyway, moving on to day 8 of Political Science. That class was spent learning about elections and electoral systems. Most of the course content isn’t worth writing about here, but I’ll bring some of it up if it’s contextually relevant.
During our discussion about public policy issues my Professor asked about Biden’s policies, most people brought up COVID, and then Trump was brought up in terms of the economy. My professor said that under Trump the economy was very strong; low unemployment; “tough” on China; he’s a bad guy but he knew how to run a country, a female student said. A male student brought up Trump graduating from Penn State University, the best of the best, so he clearly knows his stuff. While this conversation was a bit uncomfortable for, especially when I had to wrangle my face to not make extreme expression, lest I get called out.
We then moved on to election fairness, essentially preventing voter fraud or foreign interference; which leads us to the discussion about the current inquiry into foreign inference in the last federal election of Canada where Trudeau won a minority government.
My Professor asked the class which country was being accused of interfering. I put up my hand and said “They’re trying to blame China for some reason”, he confirmed my answer and began to explain the situation a little bit, then he made this statement “Trudeau loves China, he always wants to do good by China” I then raised my hand again and said “Didn’t Mr. Xi Jingping literally lecture and scold Trudeau because he was talking shit behind his back?” My statement was correct and he went on to say that Trudeau was not interested in doing an investigation, implying that China did interfere but Trudeau did not want anyone to know, again I put up my hand “I thought I saw recently that Trudeau did approve the investigation?” I was right, he confirmed this as the day before Trudeau did say he was going to appoint someone special to investigate. This is probably the one class I was super talkative in, I just wish I brought up the Huawei phone ban and the arrest of the CEO’s daughter. Next time.
When we were talking about campaign periods and attack ads the same girl who praised Trump also brought up Pierre Poilievre and his “Yes or No” questions to Trudeau and how he’s always dodging simple questions or diverting them to his party members. I don’t like Trudeau but I’d rather set myself on fire then ever defend Skippy (Pierre’s nickname). In conclusion, his girl gives me bad vibes.
We concluded the class with electoral systems:
• First Past The Post • Two Round/Second Ballot System • Preferential System • Proportional Representation • Hybrid System
My Professor proclaimed his praise for the Hybrid System, which Germany uses apparently. In my opinion, it sounded kind of complicated but it’s better than what we have here in Canada which is First Past The Post. Personally, I’d rather have proportional representation.
On to day 9, which is today! I was actually almost late for class, I like to arrive super early but for some reason the bus took way longer than it should’ve. Anyway, today we learned about Civil Liberties, Political Culture, Terrorism, and The Mossad.
So we started off talking about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and then the Notwithstanding Clause which, apparently, Doug ford tried to threaten Healthcare workers and teachers with to prevent them from striking. But he didn’t go through with it, thankfully. Next was the Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is not legally binding and just lip service. Apparently the whole “Universal Human Rights” thing is at odds with cultural values; Universalism vs Cultural Relativism. Which prompted a conversation about whether we believe in Universalism or if Culture is relevant. A girl argued that it’s more nuanced than just “Yes or No”, the Taliban was used as an example with their opposition to women and girls in school. The girl obviously disagreed with the Taliban and stated that what the Taliban are doing is not in alignment with Islam. There was a bit of a back and forth but she concluded with western values being seen as the universal good needing to spread to other countries is a form of imperialism.
After this discussion we moved on to First Generation Rights, which were curated in the West; Second Generation Rights, curated by the Soviet Block (I drew little hearts around it); Third Generation Rights, which were curated by developing nations (his words not mine). Political culture was short but my Professor asked us to compare Canadian Political culture vs American Political culture, which alway annoys me but I’ll illustrate how that went:
Essentially he attempted to explain the question with a scenario, if you’re at the airport and have a Canadian flag on your baggage and another person has the American flag, how would people around perceive you both? Of course, thee first thing was that Canadians are stereotyped as being friendly and diffident, versus Americans being boastful (his words not mine). Canada is multicultural while America is a melting pot and focused on American exceptionalism. Someone even said that Americans like to rep their cities on shirts while Canadians don’t.
This conversation bothers me because it’s hypocritical. We claim to be humble and kind and yet boast about how much better we are than Americans while ignoring our gross treatment of Indigenous Peoples and the amount of fascists we have, most of which are in our government!
Our terrorism section was very short and straightforward so I won’t get into it, but afterwards we watched a weird propaganda video about the Mossad, AKA the national intelligence agency of Israel. We didn’t finish but here are some things I managed to write down:
• “Palestinian Rebels” • “Pawn of a mystery criminal mastermind” (in reference to a suicide bomber) • “The Engineer” is a “hero to Palestinians and a terrorist to Israelis” • “only rule is that there are no rules” (in reference to the Mossad) • “Patriotism is a prerequisite” (in reference to the Mossad) • Then they barged into The Engineer’s house scaring the shit out of his parents, he wasn’t in the house
Then class ended. So that’s it for now, hopefully when I hand in my paper I get a good grade.
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Wow your class praised Trump? They thought he knew how to run a country?? You guys have to be the whitest of the white in order for that to be remotely believable.
It’s actually, surprisingly, a diverse class. I’m one of a few white students. But yes, the students who were praising Trump were white. My professor is actually a black man.
I don’t know if that makes things better or worse…
Maybe Canadians are easier to dupe regarding US politics because you guys aren’t facing the brunt of it.
Maybe, but if it’s any consolation, my professor does think Trump is a bad dude, he just praised him for the economy and China stuff. It was the two students that said he knew how to run a country, which is embarrassing.
My professor seems to have a fairly positive view of Canada in general, save for the politicians and electoral system. I believe he’s not from my province due to him having an accent so I wonder if that aides in his perspective.