Elections and Voting

Click on each question to check your answer.

1. Why is voter turnout in Canadian elections generally low, and which people are least likely to vote?

*Answer: Describe the reasons behind low voter turnout such as: apathy, complexities associated with the electoral systems, dissatisfaction with choices, environmental deterrence, etc. List the types of people least likely to vote (e.g., younger people, people with lower incomes, newcomers to Canada, people who have just moved to a new province, people with a low sense of civic duty).

2. How do political parties generate revenue, and what restrictions are placed on their ability to do so?

*Answer: Discuss caps on individualcontributions, government subsidies, tax credits, membership fees, bans on union/corporate/third party donations.

3. Describe four different stages of an election campaign and their relationship to the permanent campaign.

*Answer: Discuss the different stages which include: pre-writ, the organizational period, the leader’s debate, and the post-debate period; discuss permanent campaign.

4. What is direct democracy and how does it differ from representative democracy?

*Answer: Discuss how direct democracy involves citizens and direct public participation. Explain and discuss the different tools used in direct democracy, such as referendums and plebiscites.

5. Explain how Canada’s single-member plurality (SMP) system functions. What are the benefits and complaints surrounding this system?

*Answer: Explain rules of SMP in terms of electoral formula, ballot structure, and district magnitude. Discuss benefits, such as the being easy to understand and reflecting geographic diversity. Discuss complaints of SMP, including how smaller parties are disadvantaged, and women and Indigenous people are underrepresented.

6. How are boundaries for electoral districts decided in Canada?

*Answer: Compare boundary commission processes with gerrymandering.

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