An Analysis of Political Elitism

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An Analysis of Political Elitism It is easy to believe that the middle-class working individual, whether he or she be white collar or blue collar, wields little political power except for during an election. It is also easy to think that we don’t have true democracy; political representation elected by the people, for the people, and controlled by these people. This is an ideology that is often worn out. Instead, these elected representatives are controlled by political élites: high-ranking political "gladiators", the media, lobbyists, and, though it may not seem evident, big business. It is, in essence, commonly believed by most. Some reasons why political élites at times dominate government and who these groups are will be examined in this essay. Also, there will be an analysis of those who were political élites in Canada over the past centuries. Also, some new discoveries may be turned up that help us have a better understanding of this elitism. Finally, we will discuss if interest groups and minorities have real political power, or perhaps they are just given token compensation. Hopefully, by the end of this essay, there will be a better understanding of who really has political power in Canada. Though this paper is an analysis of elitism, we must also dissect the concept of democracy. Needless to say, without democracy in a political system, elitism would not exist. Democracy was a concept developed by the Greeks and the Romans during the classical period. It comes from the Greek word "demos", which means "the people"; and "kratien", which means "to rule". In essence, democracy is a nation’s people rule themselves through elected representatives. Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedia reminds us of an important point though. Though the words "democracy" and "republic" are used together universally, they are definitely not the same thing. For instance, Canada is defined as a constitutional monarchy. It is not a republic, yet, we use a democratic system. Another is China, who’s official title is "The People’s Republic of China"; yet, China is far from democratic. Furthermore, democracy is seen as ambiguous. Democracy is not only a concept on which our great nation is based, but it is also a source for which government can use its authority, and it is also a process. This is where elitism is spawned. Elitism can be seen, from a certain point of view, as ... ... middle of paper ... ...oronto: Key Porter Books Ltd., 1994. Dunn, Christopher. Canadian Political Debates. 1st ed Toronto: McClelland & Stewart Inc., 1995. Filemyr, Anne. "Conflict and Mainstream Reporting." Canadian Business and Canadian Affairs. 28.3 (August, 1996): 97-101. Francis, Diane. Controlling Interest: Who Owns Canada? 2nd ed. Toronto: Scorpio Publishing Ltd., 1986. Funk & Wagnalls. "Democracy" Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia. 4th ed. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, Inc., 1983. Guy, James John. How we are Governed: The Basics of Canadian Politics and Government. 1st ed. Toronto: Harcourt Brace & Company Canada, Ltd, 1995. Jackson, Robert J.; Jackson, Doreen. Politics in Canada. 4th ed. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice-Hall Canada Inc., 1998. Letter to the CBC ombudsman from the Prime Minister’s Office. Dated October 16, 1998. (www.tv.cbc.ca/cgi-bin/extlnk.cgi?/national/pgminfo/apec/pmo2.html) Penguin Books. The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology. 2nd ed. London: Penguin Books Ltd., 1994. Van Loon, Richard J.; Whittington, Michael S. The Canadian Political System: Environment, Structure and Process. 3rd rd. Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson Publishing Ltd., 1981.
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