Look, we get it: When it comes to the subject of politics, the eyes of most people tend to glaze over, and their attention for the subject is limited, to say the least.
Still, as dry as the topic can sometimes be, the government does make decisions which can affect your daily life, so it never hurts to be at least somewhat informed on exactly who is saying / promising what, and know exactly how – and where – you can make your voice heard.
So with that said, let’s take a look at how this process works, who’s involved, and exactly what to remember when it comes to casting your vote.
The party leaders
Justin Trudeau – Liberal Party (Current Prime Minister of Canada)
First elected as leader of the Liberal Party in 2013, Justin Trudeau was elected as Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister in the federal election of 2015. As an MP, he represents the riding of Papineau, Quebec.
Andrew Scheer – Conservative Party Leader
Andrew Scheer is the leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Official Opposition – a position he has held since 2017. As an MP, he represents the riding of Regina—Qu’Appell in Saskatchewan – a position he has held since 2004.
Jagmeet Singh – New Democrat Party (NDP) leader
Jagmeet Singh grew up in Scarborough, St. John’s, and Windsor, and served as an Ontario MPP from 2011 until 2017. On October 1st, 2017, he became leader of Canada’s NDP. He currently represents the riding of Burnaby-South.
Elizabeth May – Green Party leader
Elizabeth May is the leader of Canada’s Green Party, and MP for Saanich–Gulf Islands. Originally from Cape Breton, May moved to BC in 2010. On May 2, 2011, she became the first member of the Green Party of Canada to be elected as a Member of Parliament. In the 2015 federal election, May was re-elected in the riding of Saanich–Gulf Islands, being the only Green Party member to win a seat.
Maxime Bernier – People’s Party of Canada leader
Maxime Bernier is the founder and current leader of the newly-formed People’s Party of Canada (PPC). He ran in the 2017 Conservative Party of Canada leadership election, and came in a close second behind Andrew Scheer. He resigned from the Conservative Party last summer to create his own party.
Great, so we know who’s gunning for Prime Minister. Now what?
How can I find out more about each party’s plan?
This is a simple question with a simple answer: The internet. (Yes, it’s not just for cat videos and hilarious memes.)
From the economy to the environment, taxes to transit all parties have their platforms and plans laid out in clear text on their website – you just have to know where to look.
…..Or you can just find those links below:
How and where do I vote exactly, and am I even eligible to?
Okay, we’ve got the leaders, and their platforms. Time to get informed and head to the polls. But hold on, who exactly is allowed to “head to the polls” in the first place?
The answer: All Canadian citizens who are at least 18 years old on election day (October 21).
To vote, you must:
- Be registered. Most electors are already registered. Still, it never hurts to double-check. To make sure you’re on the list – or to register or update your address information, electors can visit elections.ca/register, visit any Elections Canada office across Canada, or call 1-800-463-6868. You can register at any time between now and October 15, at 6 pm.
But because this is the lazy’s persons guide, we’ll also let you know that if you miss the deadline, you can still they can register at the polls on election day. It’s just that easy.
- Show proof of your identity and address. There are many different pieces of identification that can be used to prove identity and address. And if you don’s possess any of these? You can still vote if you declare your identity and address in writing and have someone who knows you and who is assigned to your polling station vouch for you. The voucher must be able to prove their identity and address. A person can vouch for only one person (except in long-term care institutions).
On election day polling stations are set up in the riding of every candidate (and we’ll get to ridings in a second), where people can go and easily cast their ballot in person.
Unable to make it to the polls in person? You can vote by mail, at an Elections Canada office, or even at numerous post-secondary institutions across the country.
Living abroad this fall? You can also vote by mail. Canadian citizens who live abroad may apply to be on the International Register of Electors, which will allow them to vote by mail-in special ballot in federal general elections, by-elections and referendums.
Simply put, there’s no excuse not to vote.
So am I voting for the party leader directly, or….?
Unless you live in the home riding of the party leader, the short answer is no.
The long answer is that Canada consists of 338 ridings across the country, which equals 338 seats in the House of Commons in Ottawa – Canada’s capital.
In Canada, the electoral system is known as first-past-the-post (FPTP; sometimes FPP), in which voters indicate on a ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins. Under a first-past-the-post voting method, the highest polling candidate is elected.
- Scheer promising carbon tax will be history by January if he gets majority
- Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome
- Trudeau sidesteps questions about Obama endorsement
- Ryan Reynolds is encouraging Canadians to go out and vote
- Trudeau accuses Tories of running “one of the dirtiest, nastiest campaigns”
- Teen with days to live votes in first election, encourages Canadians to do the same (VIDEO)
So if an MP in a particular riding wins a seat in the House of Commons, that counts towards how much power the party will hold once the House of Commons reconvenes. As such, a “majority government” happens when over half the seats in the house are claimed by MPs from one party.
What is a “riding” anyway and how do they work?
An electoral district in Canada is also known as a “riding.”
It is a geographical constituency upon which Canada’s representative democracy is based.
Each federal electoral district returns one Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons of Canada – that person being whoever received the most votes in that riding.
Wait, when’s voting day, again?
Monday, October 21.
Stay tuned to Daily Hive for all the latest from this season’s campaign, including up-to-the-minute results on election night.
After all, exercising your democratic right to vote still counts as exercising, right?