Canada Is Both An Authoritarian And Antiauthoritarian State.

782 words - 3 pages

In an authoritarian state an elite holds political power and citizens have little or no part in the political process. Authoritarianism is the opposite of democracy. Canada, on the other hand, is a democratic country that prides itself on citizens' opinions that have at least some part in the political process. But based on the characteristics of an authoritarian state - the supremacy of the state, collective society, changing leadership - Canada seems to be portrayed as both an authoritarian and antiauthoritarian country.In an authoritarian system the state holds all political power, and the purpose of citizens is to serve the state. Obedience to the state means that people's actions are controlled, as they are not allowed to question publicly government policies or the actions of government officials. Also, the media is either owned or controlled by the state. Canada's democratic reputation does show interest in giving the people control of what goes on ("When you take an interest in your community, when you form an opinion in politics, and when you go to cast your vote, you are part of government" ), but the majority of power lies within the government officials ("Together, Senators and Members of the House of Commons play an active role in the legislative process, contributing their ideas and energy to the creation of our laws. For more than 130 years, Parliamentarians past and present have participated in the development of our democracy, shaping Canada's destiny." ). As for the media, there is a degree of control by both large companies and government. On a survey about media concentration, respondents believed there to be too much media concentration in Canada with negative consequences for the content and variety of media coverage. ("74% of respondents agreed and 15% disagreed with the statement: "Some people believe that there is too much concentration of media ownership in Canada. In other words a small number of companies, such as CanWest Global and Bell Canada Enterprises, control too large a portion of Canada's newspapers, radio and television stations." ). Government control over the media may be prevalent as "51% agreed and 15% disagreed that, "the firing of [Ottawa Citizen publisher] Russ Mills was a result of the fact that the Asper family [owners of the Citizen] are friends and supporters of Jean Chretien. " The governing system of Canada may not...

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