PSCI 2003 Lecture 7: Elections & the Electoral System

31 views6 pages
28 Jul 2016
Course
Professor
Elections & the Electoral System
Single-Member Plurality System:
The current electoral system used by Canada
There are currently 338 electoral districts
Each district (or riding) corresponds with a seat in the House of Commons
Whoever gets the most votes in a riding wins
All other votes are "wasted", not counted
Because of this, many "patterns" emerge in regions
With SMP, it's not about getting a certain amount of votes, it is about getting MORE votes than
any one other party
In the 2015 election, only 39.5% of people voted Liberal, and yet they won a majority
Who can vote?
o"Extension of the franchise"
oOver the 20th century, laws have been passed to allow more people to vote
oIn the 19th century you had to be a male who owned property
oThe more property you owned, the votes you could get
oIn 1918 women were allowed to vote (In 1917 only women who were direct relatives to
military personnel)
oManitoba was first to give vote to women, last was Quebec in 1940
o1948: Asian Canadians were allowed to vote
o1953: Inuit were allowed to vote
o1960: Aboriginals vote
o1970: Voting age was lowered from 21 to 18
o1988: Judges and people with mental disabilities
o1999: Returning officers
o2002: Prisoners were allowed to vote
oCan it go further?
oLanded immigrants/permanent residents?
oChange voting age to 16?
oThe changing of voting laws is not in the constitution, they are federal law and can be
changed by parliament anytime
oIn the US, the trend is to make voting harder
Eg. Many convicted criminals are never allowed to vote again, early registration
When are elections held?
oHad to be every 5 years
oElections formerly called at the PMs/premier's convenience
oWas a huge advantage to the incumbent
oThis has since changed
oMost elections are fixed dates
Exception is Nova Scotia
oIn Ontario, elections are held every 5 years on the first Thursday in October
oSo next election should be October 4th, 2018
oElection can be held earlier than fixed date if there is a vote of non-confidence
This happened in June 2014 when the Ontario NDPs called for an election
The Liberals ended up winning
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 6 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in
oHarper government introduced fixed dates in 2006
oCalled for an election October 2009
oThey were doing well in 2008 however, so they used a loophole to call an election early
oMarch 2011 the Liberals called a vote of non-confidence in the Conservative minority
government
oThe Conservatives ended up winning a majority government
oThe first actual fixed federal election date was in October 2015
oFederal elections are every 4 years, so next one should be October 2019
Do some votes count more?
oIn rural areas, ridings are large
oIn urban areas, they are often small
o
oMost ridings are plotted with straight lines, easy to figure out
This is because our ridings are drawn by independent scholars
Re-drawn every 10 years
oIn the US, ridings are crazy and drawn in every possible shape
This is because ridings are drawn by the legislature
There is a ton of political motives behind them
Allows for a huge advantage to the incumbent
oIn Canada, the issue is not Gerrymandering, but malapportionment of seats
US districts are controlled by population size
In Canada, smaller provinces are overrepresented
Basically, the population per seat doesn't make sense (PEI has a higher
population per seat ratio than it should)
oVisible minority vote dilution
The urban high population ridings are often mostly ethnic minorities
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
Unlock document

This preview shows pages 1-2 of the document.
Unlock all 6 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get access

Grade+
$10 USD/m
Billed $120 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
40 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class
Class+
$8 USD/m
Billed $96 USD annually
Homework Help
Class Notes
Textbook Notes
30 Verified Answers
Study Guides
1 Booster Class