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The Electoral System Federal and Provincial governments hold elections at least every 5 years. The Prime Minister has the right to choose when to call.

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Presentation on theme: "The Electoral System Federal and Provincial governments hold elections at least every 5 years. The Prime Minister has the right to choose when to call."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Electoral System Federal and Provincial governments hold elections at least every 5 years. The Prime Minister has the right to choose when to call an election (power of government organization).

2 The Electoral System The PM might choose to call an election because of high popularity (good) or because a major bill was defeated in the House of Commons (bad). A vote of non-confidence might be introduced by the Opposition if they feel the Government has lost support in the House. If this vote succeeds, the Government will resign or call an election.

3 The Electoral System After the PM decides (or is forced to) to call an election he/she then asks the Governor General to dissolve Parliament (power of dissolution).

4 The Electoral System Canadians do not vote directly for the PM. They vote for a candidate to represent their riding The party that wins the most seats forms the next Government The leader of that party becomes the Prime Minister

5 Stages of an Election Elections have six stages: 1.Dissolution 2.Enumeration 3.Nomination 4.Campaigning 5.Balloting 6.Tabulation

6 Stages of an Election 1.Dissolution: the session of the House comes to an end, and MPs lose their jobs. 2. Enumeration: Chief Electoral Officer is in charge of this stage, preparing voters’ list.

7 Stages of an Election 3. Nomination: Candidates are selected for each party in each riding (geographic areas of about 100 000 people) 4.Campaigning: Candidates are given media coverage, make speeches, promote their party platform and hold meetings.

8 Stages of an Election 5. Balloting: Voters go to polling stations in their communities to vote. They mark an “X” beside the candidate that they want to represent their riding. 6. Tabulation: All the votes are counted to find out who won the election.

9 Campaigning Campaign contributions are a major political issue. Before and during a campaign, parties raise money to help run their campaign. Many people are concerned that the campaign contributions (money) that companies give, are because they want to have influence in the elected Government after the election.

10 Campaigning Because of this concern, The Elections Expenses Act of 1974 states that all donations over $200 must be made public This makes sure that companies are not “buying off” the government (giving money to get power).

11 Electoral Systems First-Past-the-Post: This is the current system used in Federal and Provincial elections. A candidate only needs 1 more vote than his next closest competitor to win. This means that a candidate might win with less than 50% of the total votes if there are more than 2 candidates.

12 Electoral Systems Proportional Representation: This system is not used in Canada. This system says if a party earns 41% of the popular (total) vote, that party gets 41% of the seats in the legislature. This system is thought to be more representative but some argue that the MPs would not be connected to their riding as well as in the First-Past-the-Post system.

13 Electoral Systems If a candidate is running for office with no competition, they automatically win the election. This is called winning by acclamation. After a candidate wins an election in her riding, she represents her constituency (the people living in her riding).

14 Electoral Systems A constituency (the people in a riding) is based on the population. Therefore federal electoral districts (ridings) can be different sizes geographically, but they always have about 100 000 people. Areas with a higher population density have more electoral districts.

15 Electoral Systems When a Prime Minister is appointing Cabinet Ministers, a major part of the decision is based on regional representation. That means the Ministers are usually from constituencies in different parts of Canada. This ensures that the cabinet represents Canadians fairly.

16 Federal vs. Provincial Governments The provincial governments also have a legislative branch because provinces can create their own laws The federal government has two houses (the House of Commons and the Senate). The provincial government only has one legislative house (the legislature). B.C. Legislature, Victoria, B.C., Canada

17 Government Definitions Cabinet Solidarity: Once a policy is decided among the Cabinet Ministers, it is expected all will support the policy (in the House and when asked in public). Party Discipline: Similar to Cabinet Solidarity. All members of a party are expected to support the party’s policies.

18 Government Definitions Free Vote: When members of a party are told they can vote according to their opinion. They don’t have to follow a party decision. The Whip: Each party has a party whip. This person’s job is to ensure that all party members vote the way the party wants them to vote.

19 Minority vs. Majority Government Majority Government: In a federal election, if a party wins more than 50% of the available seats (i.e.. 154 out of 308) Benefits: As long as all MPs practice party discipline a majority government will always be able to pass bills in the House. The party whip ensures party discipline.

20 Minority vs. Majority Government Minority Government: In a federal election, when a party wins the most seats but less than 50%. Challenges and benefits: Must make alliances with other parties to stay in power (pass bills). May be more responsible because they must work together with other parties.

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