SECTION A MINI-LECTURE
In this section, you will hear a mini-lecture. You will hear the lecture ONCE ONLY. While listening, take notes on the important points. Your notes will not be marked, but you will need them to complete a gap-filling task after the mini-lecture. When the lecture is over, you'll be given two minutes to check your notes, and another 10 minutes to complete the gap-filling task. Now listen to the mini-lecture.
Good afternoon, everyone. Today we'll be continuing our discussion of the Canadian government, with the focus on its structure. As a former British colony, Canada's system of government was based on the British system of parliamentary democracy. This is often referred to as "Westminster-style" democracy, named after the British House of Commons. Like other former colonies like New Zealand and Australia, many Canadian laws, political practices and customs were brought from the "Old Country" and adapted to the different conditions of the new country. At first glance, the similarity between British and Canadian political conditions are great; but when we look more closely, we can see important differences which have arisen from the experience of governing a huge but sparsely populated country. We'll divide our discussion into three parts: the official head, the Canadian system of government and the Canadian parliament. Now，first, the official head of Canada. Like Britain, Canada is a monarchy. The official head of state is the Queen, who is also the Queen of Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and other former British colonies. The Queen is Canada's queen in her own right; if, for example, Britain decided to become a republic, the Queen would still be the Queen of Canada. Because she does not live in Canada, she is represented by an official called a Governor General. When heads of state visit Canada, they will first be greeted by the Governor General, before being welcomed by the Prime Minister. Both the Queen and the Governor General occupy roles which are largely ceremonial. Most Canadians would be unable to tell you the name of the current Governor General, or identify him or her in a picture. And while the Queen and her family are regarded with affection by most Canadians, the monarchy as such bears little relevance to the governing of modern Canada. We see that Canada and Britain have the same official head of state. Then, what is special about the Canadian government as compared against the British government? This brings us to the second part of our discussion, the system of government. The biggest difference between Canada and the UK is that Canada is a federation— that is , it has ten provinces and two territories, each with their own government, which have joined to form one country. The government of the whole country is referred to as the "federal government", to distinguish it from the lower level governments of each province. These provinces all have a great deal of power in relation to the federal government. Canada was the first political community to combine federalism with a British system of government, a model which was later applied to other areas in the British Commonwealth, notably in Australia, Malaysia, Nigeria and India— large countries with powerful regional and ethnic divisions. Canada's founding fathers of Confederation, who, between 1864 and 1867, had to decide what sort of government the new country was to have, chose the British model of government over the model being enacted in the United States. The American system was characterized by "checks and balances" on political power. In Contrast, the founding fathers preferred the British system because they wanted a strong central government. The British model offered "strength, order and authority", which they thought was preferable to the weakness of the American system. In the American system, the President and the Congress frequently battle over policy. Finally, we'll talk about the Canadian parliament. The Canadian parliament is divided into a lower house, the House of Commons, and an upper house called the Senate. Canadians vote in elections for people they want to represent them in the House of Commons. These Members of Parliament (MPs) each fill a "seat" in the House of Commons, which represents a particular electoral district. Electoral districts are based on population rather than geographic size, so there are more MPs from urban areas and very few from the sparsely settled, wilder regions of Canada. The House of Commons contains about three hundred seats. Because most of the Canadian population is concentrated in Ontario and Quebec, these two provinces have the most seats, and therefore the most power in the House of Commons. This has caused a lot of trouble because the provinces with smaller populations feel they are not adequately listened to by "Central Canada". For example, in the nineteen ninety-seven election, because of its large population, Ontario elected one hundred and three MPs, whereas the prairie provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba each only had fourteen MPs. As is the case in Britain, MPs generally all belong to political parties. The party that wins the most seats forms the government; the party leader becomes Prime Minister, and so, like in the UK, the most important person in Canadian government is the Prime Minister. The Cabinet, chosen by the Prime Minister, consists of senior MPs from the governing party. They are usually given particular areas of responsibility, like external affairs, multiculturalism, or health and education. The Senate, the upper house, is not elected. It is appointed by the Governor General, who acts on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. The Senate is not like the US Senate, but analogous to the House of Lords in the UK, although the Lords can earn their seat by right of birth as well as by being appointed. To balance the fact that the Commons is dominated by MPs from populous Ontario and Quebec, senators are, by tradition, picked to represent the regions more equally. There have been calls in recent years to reform the Senate and make it an elected body. This just about concludes our time for today. You are expected to read the recommended material after class. Next week's lecture will be focused on Canadian Prime Ministers.
Section B CONVERSATION
In this section you will hear everything ONCE ONLY. Listen carefully and then answer the questions that follow. Questions 1 to 5 are based on a conversation. At the end of the conversation, you will be given 10 seconds to answer each of the following 5 questions. Now listen to the conversation.
Jane (W): Good morning, professor Green. professor
Green(M): Good morning.
W: What are we going to talk about today?
M: Today we will be going over the ten-week long course syllabus and setting up some general guidelines for this quarter, as well as answering any questions you may have about the reading and writing assignments… OK, now, in week one, we will cover chapters one to ten in the textbook and relate them to the novel by Julia Stephen "Walking the Dragons". The primary focus will be on the living conditions of peasants during the 1930s.
W: Does that mean we have to read all ten chapters and the novel by Monday?
M: Good question, Jane. I'm glad you asked. The reading that you should have completed by Monday is Chapters one to six and the first half of Stephen's novel. By Wednesday you should read through to chapter ten and finish the novel, and on Friday we will have our first writing assignment due. It is a brief response to Stephen' s novel.
W: How about the length requirement?
M: Seeing that this is a rather informal response paper, the length requirement is only one to two pages.
W: Would you like us to use quotes from the novel?
M: For this paper, since it is so short I would prefer if you only used your own words… Now, if there are no further questions I will continue. In week two we will cover Chapters eleven to twenty as well as "The Blind Calligrapher" by Jonathan Wu. In week three we will cover chapters twenty-one to thirty and your second writing assignment will be due. This paper should be five to seven pages in length, and it should focus on the change in the lifestyle of peasants as compared to the change in lifestyle of the urban city-dwellers from 1930 to 1940. You should use quotations from at least two authors who give contrasting opinions about this time period. Are there any questions?
W: Shall we need a bibliography for this paper?
M: Absolutely. If you quote an author, there must be a Bibliography to make clear exactly where you found that author's words.
W: what style should we follow when documenting these sources?
M: The MLA style is preferred. That is, in the body of your essay, after a citation of a source, you need to enclose in parentheses the author's last name and the page number on which the information is found.
W: I see.
M: If there are no more questions I'll continue. OK. In week four there is no novel, only chapters thirty-one through forty. On Friday of week five we will have an in-class midterm covering chapters one to fifty and the two novels.
W: That seems like quite a lot of material. Will we have any review sessions?
M: Yes, absolutely. Your teaching assistant will be leading discussion groups twice a week outside of class to help you grasp the information more clearly. I strongly urge you to attend as many of these sections as possible… Moving on, in week six, we will have no classes Monday and Wednesday, so we will watch a film about the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In week seven, we will cover chapters fifty-one through sixty and your third writing assignment will be due. In week eight, we will cover chapters sixty-one through seventy, as well as a selection of short essays. Week nine will be review and your final papers will be due in week ten along with the final examination.
W: Is it all right if we turn in handwritten papers?
M: If you are unable to use a computer, then it is OK as long as you use blue or black ink and turn in a legible paper, however I would prefer it if all papers were printed out from a computer.
W: Would it be all right if we worked with a partner for any of the papers?
M: I want all your papers to be original works so I'll have to say no to that request.
W: We will do.
M: Are there any further questions? No? If there are no further questions then you can go now.
W: Thank you, Professor Green. Bye.
Section C NEWS BROADCAST
In this section, you will hear everything ONCE ONLY. Listen carefully and then answer the questions that follow. Questions 6 to 7 are based on the following news. At the end of the news item, you will be given 10 seconds to answer each of the two questions. Now listen to the news.
Tony Blair's message to the European Union is that it must change the way it does business if it is to survive. He told the European Parliament that the people of Europe are ahead of the continent's politicians in recognizing the need for change. Mr. Blair's message comes as the EU wonders how it can get out of a crisis caused by French and Dutch voters' rejection of its constitution and its failure at a summit last week to agree on a long-term budget. But for Mr. Blair, the issue is bigger than the constitution or the budget. It is that Europe must adapt itself to changing times in order to compete economically, not just with the United States but also with such rising giants as China and India. Mr. Blair has been accused by the French and the Germans, among others, of wanting to destroy Europe's welfare state and impose unfettered capitalism across the continent. His critics also say Britain wants the EU to be a big common market and is not interested in closer political integration. Mr. Blair said those criticisms are unfair and his aim is not to kill Europe's highly regulated social model but to change it. Question 8 is based on the following news. At the end of the news item, you will be given 10 seconds to answer the question. Now listen to the news. The Nobel prize in literature for 2005 is awarded to the English writer, Harold Pinter. He is regarded as Britain's greatest living playwright. Mr. Pinter has written more than 30 works, and he is best known for his sparse style, dubbed "Pinteresque," which takes full advantage of the pauses and silences that build the dramatic effect. He is widely acknowledged to have influenced an entire generation of British writers. Mr. Pinter also has never shied away from fierce political debate. This human rights campaigner and anti-war activist has in recent years been an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq. Questions 9 and 10 are based on the following news. At the end of the news item, you will be given 10 seconds to answer each of the two questions. Now listen to the news. Astronomers have detected the most distant explosion ever witnessed in the heavens. It was a flash so powerful that they could observe the faint light as it came in from almost the edge of the known universe. The U.S. space agency's Swift satellite was routinely scouring the cosmos for exploding stars on September 4 when it spotted what scientists have since realized is the most distant such burst on record. In astronomy, distance means time. The further something is away, the longer its light has been traveling to get to us. So the star blast is also the most ancient ever observed. The exploding star the Swift satellite observed was typical of the death of a massive star. These blasts are the most powerful in the universe, sending out 100 million times the energy the Sun does in one year. They are not rare, but occur daily, emitting their light in high energy gamma rays. If you could see gamma rays, the sky would twinkle with such bursts.
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