Category Archives: Politics

An Essay on the Principle of Population

In his famous “An Essay on the Principle of Population“(1798), the English economist Thomas Malthus argued that, since geometric growth of population outstrips arithmetic growth of the food supply, we actually need poverty, disease, and starvation to restore the balance. While this theory was popular in the nineteenth century, very few would accept it today.

Point out the major developments in science, economics, and government which, since the time of Malthus, have counteracted his argument.

An Essay on the Principle of Population

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Canadian Military Spending

Politicians often state that one letter received from a citizen is worth a thousand votes.

Decide whether you think Canada is spending too little or too much on the military.

Now write a letter to the Minister of Defence, arguing your point deductively.

Apply your premise to a specific example or examples, such as tanks, fighter planes, destroyers, submarines, etc.

As you look over your “discovery draft,” see whether you have specialized in either argumentation or persuasion. If your treatment seems too extreme, modify it in your next draft with a dose of the other approach, to produce a more combined approach.

In your final draft, edit for conciseness (the best letters to politicians are short).

Finally, submit your letter to your member of parliament.

Canadian Forces “Combat Camera”
Cabinet
Members of Parliament
Leon Benoit
Hon. Peter Gordon MacKay

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Government Cutbacks

Choose one example of governmental spending which has been or soon will be “cut back.”

Produce a page of notes, then conclude from them whether you favour or oppose the cutback. Now write an inductive essay to support your opinion.

Apply at least three techniques of persuasion.

After a quick “discovery draft,” check to see if you have left out any good points from your notes. Has writing led you to discover new points? If they are good, add them.

In further drafts, revise for conciseness, concrete language, and consistent tone.

Test your prose aloud before publishing the final version.

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Dedicated to a Cause

Think of a contemporary or historical person who has dedicated his or her life to a cause.

  • What difficulties did he or she encounter while promoting the cause?
  • What were the results of his or her efforts?
  • Did the person experience any failures in representing the cause? If so, how did he or she handle them?
  • What successes did the person achieve?
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Civil Disobedience

Think of places you know where large-scale civil disobedience and social violence have occurred. Some examples from history are the French Revolution, the American Revolution, the expulsion of the British from countries such as India and South Africa. In what other places have people fought for political change? How was order restored?

Did the restoration of order end the problems that had created the disobedience and violence?

What experiences have people you know or know about had when they fought a government system?

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Omens

Do you believe in omens (signs of events that will happen)? There have been many accounts of people reporting the occurence of strange phenomena (facts or events as they appear to the senses) just before some significant event, good or bad, took place. Have you ever had or do you know someone who has had such an experience?

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