Elections 2/11/2013 3:02:00 PM
- Government’s have the power to fix election dates.
o In sask and AB different months tend to work out and be regular
o To a real extent the promise of fixed election dates does not
usually alter normalacy – we just go with it
o Follow public opinion polls
o Allison Redford not knowing what she was doing almost gave
us a new party for the first time in 40 years
In a parliamentary system governments usually win their elections.
– Between 75 and 80 percent of the time.
Take alberta out and it’s 70 percent
2 periods have been different from this
o The great depression
o Early 1970s
Tendency towards shorter election campaigns
o Change the way in which we generate voters lists
o Used to knock on doors – can’t nominate candidates until that
o Stretches out campaign
Now we have permanent voters lists s
o Voters list that is drawn up and kept in place permanently
and updated periodically before an election is called.
o Federal 5 provincial 3
People vote ---Electoral system (how we translate votes into seats)
– winners --- winners get a leading role
Looks and is run like a national election, but on voting day it is a
whole bunch of local elections that are supposedly and technically
indeoendant – there are trends but they don’t have to exist.
All that matters in your particular riding is the vote in each
Represenatives you get more votes than the other guys and you loe
Communitees are divided
England 16.23 percent of the vote – huttersfield – plurality
Enormous advantage – personalizes the aspect of the system.
Explaining to citizens
Winning isn’t neccearily the only thing that is involved. Usually big parties clean up small parties get butchered
o Exception is large regional concentrations.
o A way of creating a parliament that is more likely to generate
a government that can govern
o Prevents excessive fragmentation of representation and
makes a majority government more likely.
o Tends to generate an artificial majority.
o Since WW1 very few gov’ts have gotten more than half of the
popular vote but most of our governments have been
majority governments. Why? ELECTORAL SYSTEM.
o Your not represented if you don’t vote for the majority
o Encourages strategic voting – the process whereby you don’t
vote for the party you really like and think about who has the
best chane of defeating who you hate – lie with your vote.
o Pretend you don’t like Stephen Harper – I love the green
party, but they won’t win in Lethbridge – the world should
know – or do you wanna look strategically and vote for Libs or
o So Green party gets trampled and you vote Liberal because
they might have a chance – you like them because they’re
o You are encouraged not to speak candidly with your vote.
o Only makes sense in a single member plurality vote system –
cant even explain the argument to someone who doesn’t
o The logic is –one more vote and I am elected.
o Encourages parties to run strategically rather than genuinely
o Only campaign and care about swing ridings
o To win a seat in Ab you would have to move 60 percent of
voes in one riding – LOL except orange wave in QC
o To win a seat in Ontario you just have to move 1 or 2 percent
of the voters – theoretically that is doable.
o Isnt the whole country
o You can’t tell just by looking at the number whether you won
or lost. o 39 percent Stephen Harper (yay) Majority government.
o No necessary correlation between share of popular vote and
number of seats in the legislature – all depends on where
your votes went.
o Ratio of our seats is the cube of the ratio of our votes
o Twice as many votes – 8 times as many seats.
o Cube law
o Drawing the lines makes a colossal difference
o This is Saskatoon and the NDP is getting ripped off seats.
o You can make a perfectly solid argunment