Canadian* Civics and Society


  1. David Last, PhD,  last-d@rmc.ca 

  2. Biographic note

  3. voice or text: 613 532 3002 (please identify yourself if texting)

  4. Office: SSS25

  5. Moodle site: POE205-F16S1-77037 - Summary notes for each week are on Moodle

  6. Hours (fall term):

  7. Monday 0900-1100

  8. Wednesday Thursday 1000-1100

  9. Thursday 1000-1100

  10. Any time by appointment

  11. Absences

  12. I have several possible absences anticipated in the winter term. We will work around these with Moodle, and I will confirm the dates as soon as possible. There is also an overlap in my teaching responsibilities at CFC, commencing 3 April, and at RMC, terminating 28 April.  We will confirm the details for that period closer to the time.

  13. It will be important to use Moodle effectively from the first day of the course. Please see me if you have difficulty with it.

  14. Your absences require an absence from class form. You can send these to me by email or see me in class.

Course description

This introduction addresses political culture and socialization, federalism and the regions, parties and the electoral system, federal institutions, organization and accountability of the public service and armed forces, equity and diversity, role of the media, and Canada’s place in the world.

Where it fits in the program

An introduction to Canadian Civics and Society is part of the common core curriculum of the Royal Military College of Canada for all degree programs, and is deemed to be a necessary part of pre-commissioning professional military education.


Rand Dyck, Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches, Sixth Edition, (Toronto: Nelson, 2011). ISBN 0176509461

Rand Dyck, Studying Politics: An Introduction to Political Science, Fourth Edition, (Toronto: Nelson, 2012) ISBN 0176503420

Your Nelson textbooks come with online student resources. Some links to external news sources are attached here. No claims are made about their objectivity or balance.

Awareness of current events and discernment about sources of information is an important part of participation in this course. Please see this page about where you get your information.

Course requirements and evaluation - Dr. Last’s section

  1. You will share responsibility for coordinating the activities in a designated week

  2. You will complete three written assignments described here

  3. The basic marking guide for all assignments is attached here. You will be assessed according the first column - junior courses.

  4. Assignments 2 and 3 will be submitted through Turnitin. Your login and password are on the assignments page

  5. You are expected to attend all classes unless excused by the professor, and will be objectively marked on work completed in class (participation).

  6. The final exam will be held in-hall during the college examination period.  There will not be a common exam for all sections. 

  7. Academic regulation 10.2 is in effect: “The instructor may refuse a student permission to write a final examination in a course if the requirements with regard to course work have not been met.”

Marking scheme

  1. Participation                10 percent

  2. Written assignments    50 percent

  3. Semiotics                10

  4. Research design     15

  5. Major paper             25

  6. Final exam                   40 percent

Summary of Weekly topics and readings

All chapters listed are from Dyck (2011) Critical Approaches. Additional resources are linked to weekly notes and Moodle.

  1. 1.Political science concepts and methods (1)

  2. 2.Political culture and socialization (12, 11)

  3. 3.Social cleavages in Canada (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)

  4. 4.Principles of Canadian government (2)

  5. 5.Legislature and executive (21, 23)

  6. 6.Canadian Charter of Rights and the judiciary (19, 24)

  7. 7.Constitution and federalism (17, 18)

  8. 8.Pubic administration in Canada (including CF Organization and Accountability) (22)

  9. 9.The policy making process (20)

  10. 10.Interest groups and social movements (14, 16)

  11. 11.Elections (15)

  12. 12.     External influences on domestic politics (10)

  13. 13.     Exam review

Note that the sequence may be different from other sections.

* We will try to keep the focus on Canada, not the US. This includes our discussion of current events, and all assignments.