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Chapter 9.  In 2003 Iraq held its first real election in more than 30 years?  Despite threats of terrorism there was a very good turn out to vote...

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 9.  In 2003 Iraq held its first real election in more than 30 years?  Despite threats of terrorism there was a very good turn out to vote..."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 9

2  In 2003 Iraq held its first real election in more than 30 years?  Despite threats of terrorism there was a very good turn out to vote...  Would you take the risk to vote?  Why might terrorists not want people to vote?  Why is it so important to the people of Iraq?  What about Afghanistan?

3  “Democracy is the process by which people choose the man who’ll get the blame” –B. Russell  Voting is the single most important thing you can do in a Representative Democracy  Used to be that most small communities (Like Ancient Greece) had “Direct Democracy”

4 Checks on Representatives Powers  Candidates will make promises to the electorate  It’s important to have frequent elections so that representatives listen to the people  Canada has to have one every 5 years The Election Process  The PM gets to decide when the election happens (as long as it is within 5 years  The PM asks the Governor General to Call an election– then within 36 days it goes down  Notices are sent out to the 308 ridings along with ballots and ballot boxes– also, everyone starts campaigning  Parties start to promote their PLATFORMS  There are laws in place to ensure that the media gets the platforms out, that voting is fair, and that people get the opportunity to vote

5 Elections have changed in Canada  Used to be that only 21 year or older white British males were allowed to vote  The government (the party in power) could have certain ridings hold their elections early to make it seem like it was winning to influence people to vote for it  Balloting was not secret– they could see who you voted for!  The government used to be able to deny Franchise (right to vote) to groups it didn’t think would support it

6  Canada’s Recent Voting Record has not been good  In 2000 they actually considered making voting mandatory– if you didn’t, you could be arrested!  Canada’s voter turn out is hovering around 60- 65% which is one of the worst for industrialized nations...  Where voting is mandatory, like Australia, voting percentage is usually closer to 90-95%

7 Who Can Run For Office?  Any Canadian Citizen who is...  18 years old or older  Has at least 100 signatures on a nomination form  Deposits 1000$ with an election official.  Lives in Canada  Can be a member of a political party, but if not is an “Independent”

8 What do Political Parties Stand For?  A political party is based on a set of core beliefs  These are split between “Left”, “Right”, and “Center”  A good way to understand the difference is to consider attitudes towards change...  A Party on the left does not like the status quo– wants to change  A party on the right is cautious about change, especially when it comes to regulation and spending. It also likes tradition, religion, military, and police  A Party in the center likes the status quo but will make changes where it seems like a good idea

9  A political party is an organization of people with similar beliefs  It tries to elect representatives to government who will help it control the country  Most democracies do not mention these parties in their constitution (they have no real power other than that they represent voters)  For much of our history the Liberals and Conservatives have dominated politics  Conservatives from 1867 to the early 1900s  Liberals for most of the 20 th century (1900-2000)

10 Majority and Minority Governments  A Majority government has 155 or more of the 308 seats in Parliament  Therefore, it can put its plans in motion as long as all party members vote with the rest of the party  If a vote fails, the PM and cabinet must resign and an election is caused. (No confidence)  A Minority government is when a party has the most seats, but not more than 155  In this situation, a government can easily fall since it has to be careful about negotiating with other parties  It must rely on other parties to help it pass its bills

11 Two-Party and Multi-Party Systems  Canada has a multi-party system where there are various parties who all function within the government  In the United States there is a Two Party System  The Republican and Democrats are the only real options  This system is stable since there is always a majority  Does not allow for much choice, however  Many nations that used to use the 2 party system now have multi-party systems, like us  Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia

12 Problems with Our System...  Lack of Representation  Critics say that people who vote for a small party that does not win any seats are not represented  Declining Voter Turnout  Since 1988 voter turnout has been falling  People might vote more if parties got seats based on their percentage of the popular vote  Controversial Election Results  In BC in 1996 the NDP won the election and formed a government... But the Liberals had more of the popular vote!  In Quebec the Liberals lost to the Bloc even though they had more votes...  How does this happen?  Ineffective Opposition

13 Referenda  A referendum is a form of Direct Democracy  It allows voters to vote directly for a set of alternatives  Like the Quebec Separation referendum in 1995  Critics have some problems with Referenda...  Undermines the authority of the elected government  Over simplifies complex issues  Can be used to wrongfully convince the world that the government has support  Benefits the majority

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