Canadain Politics has taken up world headlines for the past couple of years for various reasons, Scandals, outrage at the way we’ve been treating the environment and women’s rights issues to name a few.
How exactly does Canadian Politics work? And why is Canada getting so much heat lately?
We compare Canadian Politics and Pizza to explain the Canadian 2015 election. Mmmmm pizza!
There are several levels of government in Canada
- Municipal ( Based in a city, town or district)
- Federal (This level of government deals with areas of law listed in the Constitution Act, 1867 and that generally affect the whole country.
Here is a link to what each level of government handles.
Right now we are in the midst of a Federal election which means we are voting in a new Prime Minister.
**A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government.**
We vote in our new Prime Minister by voting for a member of parliament that represents a riding or district. Each district has a member of parliament running from each party; this means that there are at least four different people running in each of 338 districts in Canada.
Yuck! That’s a lot of politicians! Thankfully you only really need to know the leaders of the main parties and the four people running as YOUR Municipal Members of Parliament, meaning the four people running from each party in the area that you live.
Right now our Prime Minister is a man named Stephen Harper, he is the leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. Lots of people don’t like Stephen Harper and want him out of office, they think he is the reason Canada is getting such a bad wrap worldwide. I personally agree Stephen Harpers values and politics don’t align with mine. But don’t take my word for it, this is a democracy and the point of politics, everyone gets to have an opinion, do your own research and make up your own mind on the subject.
In Canada we have several political parties the main ones are:
- The Liberals
- The NDP
- The Green Party
- The Conservative Party
Or you can go by colour Orange, Red, Blue and Green
Each of the four main parties has one leader
In Canada, individuals can also run as independents meaning they are running without the backing of one of the official parties. Here is an amazing video of one such candidate. Yes, this is for real!
Each party has a platform, which in it simplest form means a bunch of promises that each party base their election campaign on.
**If you notice there aren’t any promises in any of the campaign platforms that are directed at you as a young person, things like lower school tuition, and more jobs for unemployed youth, not fair right? Keep reading and you’ll find out why.**
In Canada, we have a voting system called First-Past-The-Post
What the heck is First-Past-The-Post? Here is a video using pizza to explain how it works.
As the video illustrated many people find this electoral system unfair, and there is a movement to create a more balanced electoral system called proportional representation.
What is proportional representation?
There is also something called Strategic voting, What is that?
**Strategic voting is basically casting your vote strategically to help ensure an outcome that benefits the many. This type of voting may or may not be based on your personal views and values depending on where you live and who the strongest parties, are. Where I live, I’m lucky because the strongest candidate running against the conservative party is also a member of the party I support. Many people use strategic voting in Canadian elections because it is the best way to ensure there will be a government in power that will benefit the many within the confines of our current voting system.**
Here is a video that explains our voting system and how strategic voting works
And finally, this is why political parties don’t focus on young people
Watch this video, find out why none of the parties focus on young people and what’s important to you. Also find out why it is soooooo important that you do vote in this election or to vote when you are of age.
It has lots of swears in it and is NSFS/W
You are the generation that can make massive transformation happen in the world, but transformation only happens when you are heard. Imagine how freaked out all of the old fogies will be in Ottawa when they see all of you young people voting, they won’t know what to do with themselves, it will change everything.