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The Canadian Electoral System History Coursework Paper (Coursework Sample)


The canadian electoral system.


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The electoral system of Canada depends on a legislative system of administration, a replica of that of the United Kingdom. Canadian elections are carried out by an agency known as the non-partisan bureau which is responsible for national elections, by-elections and referendums. Its top director is the Chief Electoral Officer. National general elections are only done for the election of representatives in the House of Commons which is done by all the citizens who are eligible for voting. Representation in the House of Commons depends on electoral districts or ridings. Each riding is allowed to elect one member of the House of Commons. The electoral method implemented in Canada is the First past the post system, which involves voting for a candidate which one chooses. At the end of the exercise, the candidate who attains the most votes in a riding wins a position in the House of Commons and becomes the riding’s Member of Parliament (MP). The government is then formed of the winning party as the party leader is automatically made the Prime minister. Besides, the first runner’s up party becomes the opposition party.
The First past the Post System
Reasons why the FPTP should be abolished
The First Past the Post electoral system (FPTP) also known as the single-member plurality system has been used in Canada for 149 years now. Although in the House of Commons committee hearings which was held to discuss the alternative systems that can replace the current electoral system, various individuals gave their reason for wanting it abolished. Hunter (2016) states that the political scientist Peter Russell said that “the first past the post system no longer fits the political circumstances of the country and has done so since 1921”. The political status of the country that he is referring to is that of the countries multi-party system. From 1867 to 1921 the first post past electoral system had been effective because the federal elections were between two contestants who made the system effective by fairly translating votes into seats. From 1921 three or more political parties have been electing members to the House of Commons. Since multiple parties are contesting for positions in the House of Commons, The FPTP system is not effective any more. In the case where more than three aspirants place themselves in a solitary riding, the elected contender always correspond to just a minority of the people voting in a riding (Hunter, 2016).

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