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The Election Process

Vote for me. I am the most awesome candidate!

CHV20- Mr. Townley

Adapted from original slide show Mr.s Levy

Why do we have elections so often?!


1. it makes the government accountable to the people 2. provides opportunities for the people to voice their needs and choose their government

Canadas Electoral system


Canada is divided into over 300 ridings # of ridings is based on population Federal elections must be called every 4 years by law

How do we decide on when to have an election? 1. Prime Minister advises the Governor General to dissolve the House of Commons and calls an election 2. If the government is defeated in a vote of nonconfidence 3. The 4 year term is up!

Role of the Media


Major players
Present candidate in the best light Millions spent (travel, advertising)

Ads also cast negative images or impressions of their opponents


Ex: 1993, Kim Campbell (PM, PC) emphasized Jean Chretiens speech disability

A few video campaigns


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscr een&NR=1&v=PSmJaPICle8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlvNyPNPEsk &feature=relmfu http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lz6KaYRdt6w http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0HjGEUoTv Q http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIA5aszzA18 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3a7FC0Jkv8

Election Day
Leaders maintain high profile Advance polls: allows people to vote who might not vote otherwise (ex. Will be out of town, in hospital etc) Media in Canada is not allowed to advertise until the voting is over!!!
Can influence decisions Ex: 2004 Internet shared decisions long before the West had finished casting their ballots

Polls
Located at churches, schools, legions etc Right and Responsibility as a citizen Once at polling station: directed to a table to check the voters list Must be: 18 Canadian Citizen On Voters List most ppl are on it when they turn 18 and file their income tax return. http://www.elections.ca/content.as px?section=vot&dir=faq&docum ent=faqreg&lang=e#a1

Counting Ballots: Majority


In order to win a riding, a candidate does not need to receive a clear majority (50% + 1) of the votes. P.C. 200 (majority) Liberal 50 101 NDP 51 the candidate only needs to receive a relative majority (also called a plurality majority), meaning that she/he received more votes than any other candidate in the riding district.

Majority govt continued:


This means that even if all the opposition parties voted against the government, it will still be able to pass legislation Often lasts for the full term.

Counting Ballots: Minority


Party elects more members to Parliament than any other, BUT not more than all the other parties added together
P.C Liberal NDP 150 75 76 (majority of seats)

151

Minority govt continued


Leader of party goes to the Governor General for permission to form a government If GG agrees, the leader becomes PM and forms a cabinet Then government goes to the House of Commons and seeks a vote of confidence Usually governing party meets with the opposition leaders and tries to make an agreement for their support by offering to include some of their ideas in government legislation

When a proposed bill receives less than a majority of votes in the House of Commons, defeating the government and forcing it to resign.

If the government does not get a vote of confidence:


GG has 2 options: Calls the leader with the 2nd largest seats to attempt to form a government OR A new election

Video: the difference between minority and majority provincial govts


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G_roEhW4c

Counting Ballots: Coalition


Coalition Government: when no party has a majority in Parliament then 2 or more parties can join together to form a government
P.C. Liberal NDP 10 20 20

Examples of these types of governments in Canadian History


Majority Governments:
Sir John A Macdonald in 1867 Trudeau in 1974 Brian Mulroney in 1988 Jean Chretien in 1993, 1997, and 2000!! Stephen Harper in 2011

Minority:
Sir John A Macdonald 1882 Mackenzie King in 1921, 1925 and again in 1945 John Diefenbaker 1957 Lester Pearson in 1963 again in 1965 Pierre Trudeau in 1972 Joe Clark in 1974 Paul Martin in 2004 Stephen Harper in 2006 again in 2008

Coalition:
The Great Coalition (1864-1867) The Union Government (1917-20)

One Vote Matters


Those who stay away from the election think that one vote will do no good: Tis but one step more to think one vote will do no harm. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Why vote?!
The right to vote is one of the cornerstones of a modern democratic government. It is seen by many political scientists as the. single most important element of a democracy The reason for the importance of the vote is to provide citizens with the opportunity to choose their own government.

Why arent Canadians voting??


As reported by Elections Canada, voter turnout among Canadians is at an all time low. concerned about the low rates of young voter turnout Occasionally, citizens can develop an apathetic (lacking interest or concern; indifferent) approach.
The sense that in a society of millions of people, a single vote has little or no meaning. Consider this however - in the United States (a nation of well over 300 million people), during the 2000 federal election, the Presidency was decided by a mere 537 votes in the state of Florida, resulting in the election of George W. Bush.

Homework questions:
1. What are some other reasons why people dont vote? 2. What, then, are some of the solutions being discussed by Canadians?

Importance of Reason for Not Voting (% very or fairly important)

68+

58 67 48 57 38 47

30 37

25 29

21-24

18-20

Total

Just not interested

31.4

34.0

46.4

50.6

51.8

59.3

57.0

59.1

52.9

Didnt like parties/candidates

41.7

40.8

56.0

50.9

46.9

43.2

50.7

45.3

47.6

Vote wouldnt matter

30.6

37.5

47.1

37.9

41.1

36.7

34.3

30.4

37.1

Didnt care about issues

42.9

28.0

35.7

37.3

36.6

32.8

37.7

36.5

36.0

Busy at work

16.7

14.3

16.5

24.8

36.9

33.9

38.6

40.9

32.2

Out of town

19.4

34.7

16.7

19.3

18.3

21.5

25.1

24.8

21.8

Didnt know where or when

28.6

12.2

12.9

9.4

19.2

24.4

28.5

28.4

21.1

Not on the list

25.7

16.3

15.5

16.8

16.0

20.3

18.4

24.2

18.7

Too many elections

26.2

24.5

20.0

18.5

21.4

16.5

13.0

9.5

17.3

Illness

41.7

20.4

11.9

11.8

8.5

10.7

9.2

10.8

11.7

What are some other reasons why people dont vote? Elections issues are not seen as controversial nor key to the survival of the country (e.g., separation of Quebec) Satisfied with the present government, thus there is no need to vote for change Voting is seen mainly as a right, not a duty Dont have enough information about the election process and/or the participants Generally less interested in politics at a national level more interested in global issues

What, then, are some of the solutions being discussed by Canadians? Make voting compulsory. Australia, Belgium and Greece all have laws which have made voting compulsory. Change the conditions for voting:
Drop the voting age from 18 to 16 Allow for voting through the mail or Internet based voting Allow voting on other days, such as on a weekend (elections are traditionally held on Mondays)