Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Citizenship and Government

Defining Citizenship

     The people of a country are called its citizens. People also think of themselves as citizens of their town, city, or municipality, and citizens of their province. A citizen is a person who lives in a given place, such as Saskatchewan or Canada, and who has both a formal and informal relationship with other people in that place.
     Citizenship is defined in a formal way by the laws of a country and in an informal way by the shared values, traditions, and beliefs of society as a whole. People's values and beliefs often change over time, and they may decide that certain traditions or laws are no longer the best ones for their society. Because of this, it is important that citizens play an active role in society so they can change it to reflect their values and beliefs. This means that citizenship is based on participation.
    All citizens do not participate to the same extent. Some people know little about events and issues, or feel they cannot make a difference in society. Other citizens are informed and interested in society, and do participate in some aspects of decision making, such as voting. Some citizens not only are informed about issues, but they also form opinions and ideas and try to influence decisions in society. They know how to influence society's decisions in many useful ways. 

  1. Post your response to following statement: /10
Explain in your own words what you think a "good citizen" is and whether or not you feel that you are a good citizen. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE EXAMPLES FROM YOUR OWN LIFE IN YOUR EXPLANATION OF WHETHER OR NOT YOU ARE A GOOD CITIZEN.

   2. An important part of being a good citizen is to be well informed of what is happening around you.  It can be as small as the happenings in your home or school to as large as what is happening in the world.  At the present time, there is a Federal Election coming up. To help you refelct on what you know, and more importantly, what you don't know click on the link below to a poll that focuses on the 2001 Canadian Federal Election.

   3. What Would Life Be Like With No Governement?

You would have absolute, limitless individual freedom. You could go where you wanted to go, eat what you wanted to eat, and hang out with whomever you wanted. There would be no laws against drug use, speeding or even stealing. But..... you would not be the only one with absolute freedom. Everyone around you would be similarly free to do whatever they chose to do. Consequently, when someone wanted something you had in your possession, they could simply take it, assuming they were stronger and faster than you. And if they ended up injuring or killing you to get what you had, or if you hurt or killed them protecting your life and property, that would be the end of the conflict. No police officers would come, there would be no charges filed, there would be no trial, no punishment. In the state of nature, each individual is the "police force" that protects his or her own life, liberty and property.

    1. Make a blog post (on your own blog), explaining how you'd feel if you lived in a society that had no government.  Be sure to explainyour thoughts well since you'll be analyzing these thoughts later.      /10
It's hard to imagine what that would be like to live in a society with no governments or rules.  To try to help you see what it might be like, we're going to do a few activities.

Role of Government- What is the Role of Government?

Now that we have a good understanding of the importance of government, its now time to start looking at  how governments work and what the different levels of government are.  Before we do that, we will first do some activities that focus on how important governments are in maintaining a good life for their citizens
Which countries of the following countries are rated higher than Canada? Which countires are rated lower than Canada?  What role has government played in the living conditions of these countries? (What type of government was used-democratic, oligarchy, authoritarian?)    /40

Burma, England, Switzerland, Laos, Vietnam, North Korea, and 2 countries of your own choice

  1. Write a summary paragraph on your blog, with focus on government, explaining what effect government can have on the lives of it's citizens  /10

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