Chapter 10


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Chapter 10

  1. 1. Chapter 10: The Citizen and Government
  2. 2. Federal Elections <ul><li>Dissolution </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PM advises GG to dissolve govt and call election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Happens near end of 5 year term, usually after about 3 years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Of may happen if govt defeated on a major bill in the HofC (lost on a non-confidence vote) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Election usually for 50 days after dissolution </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Enumeration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GG asks Chief Electoral Officer to issue election writs to get election going </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Returning officers report to Chief Electoral Officer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enumeration is preparation voters’ list in every province </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not on list…can register on the day of the election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Each polling station has its own list of voters </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Nomination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidates usually selected by local party leader submit nominations to go onto ballot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To run any Canadian citizen 18 years or older can run also pay nominal deposit to returning officer </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Campaigning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotion of their platform and compete for public support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Radio, newspaper and TV advertisements, pamphlets, posters, lawn signs, TV appearances and radio shows, public opinion polls, rallies and door-to-door canvassing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Election Expenses Act are laws (fed and prov) to regulate money spent by each candidate </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Balloting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Day of the election voters go to polling stations (schools, places of worship and other public buildings) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cast vote for candidate of their choice then place ballot in ballot box  secret ballot </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Polling stations open 8am-8pm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues with time zones </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Tabulation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Counting up of ballots by deputy returning officer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At close of balloting TV, radio can legally being to broadcast results as they come in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If vote in riding is very close (approx 100 votes) can ask for a recount </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If MP dies or resigns then the seat is declared vacant and a by-election is held </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually within a few months of vancancy </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Who can vote? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Adult (18) Cdn citizens ie. Universal suffrage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Voter turnout rarely reflects wide range of eligibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Voter apathy esp among young voters </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of awareness about voting process or candidates and disinterest </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Canada’s Electoral System <ul><li>Majority government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Party wins more than half of the seats in the HofC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other parties considerably fewer MPs, but still need to have Official Opposition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Minority government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Party wins more than other party but not more than other parties combined </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Less power because need to rely on votes of MP of other parties--opposition parites can unite and vote the party out of office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forced to cooperate </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Coalition government </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Like minority, but two or more parties join together to form a govt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leader is chosen to become PM and Cabinet is from among MPs of the parties involved in the coalition </li></ul></ul><ul><li>First-past-the-post System </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Candidate with the most votes is declared winner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not necessarily majority of votes </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Controversy of FPTP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Govt doesn’t represent majority of voters’ wishes because party forms govt by winning the most seats in Parliament not total number of votes (popular vote) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Proportional Representation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voters elect candidate on basis of party they represent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of votes will reflect the number of seats </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Drawbacks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not every riding will have a local rep so areas of Canada will not have a say </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Usually will not give a majority therefore need to form coalition (most of Europe uses this system) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Preferential Ballot (Single transferable vote) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rank the candidates in order of preference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If no one receives a majority then the candidate with the lowest number of votes is dropped and the second place votes are distributed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeated until one candidate receives a majority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem is winner may only have the votes of a small part of the population and represent one area of the country </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Historical Political Parties <ul><li>Historic political parties which no longer exist </li></ul><ul><li>Progressive Conservative Party (PC) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Want controls on govt spending, tax cuts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privatization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Historically supported tariffs until NAFTA ie. Economic nationalism </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Reform Party </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Forms in MB 1987 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believe West should have stronger voice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Want to reduce national debt with massive cuts to social welfare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wanted to change Constitution ie. stronger, elected Senate </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oppose QC demand for special status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Right wing </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Canadian Alliance Party </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spring 2000 Reform and some PC joined to form Canadian Alliance to reach more voters </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Agree to flat tax rate of 17% for all Cdns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Want balanced budget </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Support free enterprise, “strong families” and “safer streets and secure borders” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Joined with rest of PC in 2003 to form the Conservative Party of Canada </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Political Parties <ul><li>Liberal Party of Canada </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports individual freedom and pursuit of equality of opportunity for all </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Favours expansion of social programs (health and ed) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believes in multiculturalism and sympathetic towards Fr-Cdns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports more free trade </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>The Conservative Party of Canada </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports balance between a balanced budge and supporting social programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believes in equality of all Cdns and in freedom of the individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports English and French as official languages </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supports free enterprise and free trade </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>The New Democratic Party (NDP) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Believes govt should intervene in important aspects of economy (against privatization of crown corporations) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Favours welfare measures (UI and welfare) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believes govt should pay for health and education and all Cdns have equal access to these regardless of ability to pay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Official Opposition - 2011 election </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nycole Turmel is interim leader after death of Jack Layton (Aug 2011) </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Bloc Quebecois </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Created in 1990 as a result of failure of Meech Lake Accord </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Believe that QC should become sovereign state and separate from Canada </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2011 election lost official party status (less than 12 seats) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Party organization <ul><li>Parties have two wings </li></ul><ul><li>Parliamentary wing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consists of MP (caucus) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Very public and publicized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extra-parliamentary wing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Party officers, and workers </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>3 levels of extra-parliamentary wing </li></ul><ul><li>Constituency association </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ grassroots” volunteers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provincial association </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinate activities of constituency offices </li></ul></ul><ul><li>National association </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In Ottawa </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Staffed by paid officials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>national convention </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Regionalism <ul><li>Differences in wishes and needs that exist between Eastern, Central and Western regions of Canada </li></ul><ul><li>All provs and territories have different economies, different strengths and weaknesses—ideal situation is MPs represented all regions of Canada and all voices were heard </li></ul><ul><li>HofC most MPs are from ON and QC with few from BC </li></ul>
  23. 23. Influences on the Government <ul><li>Interest groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>groups of citizens with a common goal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Federation of Labour, Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, MADD </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representative/lobbyists meet with Cabinet ministers or parliamentary committees </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Provide research and technical expertise </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Try to influence public opinion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some change: new legislation, environmental protection, new govt services and increased funding </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. <ul><li>Some oppose interest groups </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Promotion of goals not all citizens share…encouraging govt to pass legislation that does not benefit all of society </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Also interest groups have contributed large amount of money to particular party at election time, therefore, expect special treatment when elected </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Mass Media <ul><li>Media can dictate govt’s focus by covering an issue they feel is important to society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media can accurately reflect community’s views? Or give adequate coverage? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Esp since current trend towards media concentration ie. Conglomeration of media ownership…limited number of sources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Media concentration goes against democratic principles of diversity and plurality </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Protest Groups and Civil Disobedience <ul><li>Rallies, parades, marches, public demonstrations and blockades to draw attention to their causes </li></ul><ul><li>Civil disobedience is the act of intentionally disobeying a law to get the attention of the govt </li></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Principles of civil disobedience </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No violence involved </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Directed agains laws that are seriously harmful </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Willingness to face punishment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ex. Clayoquot Sound protest </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. 2011 Election Results Party Elected Vote Share (%) CON 167 39.62 NDP 102 30.62 LIB 34 18.91 BQ 4 6.05 GRN 1 3.91 IND 0 0.43