Elections in Ontario

What are elections? Elections are contests of ideas, politics,
leadership and power, where interested groups and individuals compete for public support
and, ultimately – for their votes. Your vote. These groups are called political parties. They are made up of like-minded individuals,
who share similar political beliefs and want to create meaningful change. The outcome of the election determines the
political direction of our government – who is in control and which policies will take
shape. Okay, but what’s an electoral system? This is the way in which voters choose their
preferences, and how the winners are determined. There are actually many different systems
used around the world. Ontario uses a system called Single-Member
Plurality, more commonly known as First-Past-the-Post. The province is divided into 124 smaller geographic
areas, called electoral districts, and each district has its own race, which elects one
Member of Provincial Parliament. Voters can choose only one candidate on the
ballot and the candidate with the most votes wins. In our system, voters to not directly vote
for the leader of the province. It is the political party with the most elected
members that usually forms the government. And the leader of that party becomes premier. So, how do election campaigns work? Political parties endorse individuals to represent
their party in one of the electoral districts and compete for the job of Member of Provincial
Parliament. Some candidates also run independently and
are not associated with any political party. During the election campaign, parties and
candidates share their ideas – called their platform – and try to gain public support. This is where you come in. As a voter, you have a job to do. You need to decide which party or candidate
aligns with your views, which ideas you want to see happen, and who is best to lead your
community, and the province. Research the options, follow the news and
talk with friends and family. Then, voice your choice.

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