Federal Elections

Every few years, Canadians go to the polls
to elect Members of Parliament to make decisions about Canada’s future. Under Canada’s election law, federal elections
are scheduled every four years, and take place in October. However, a prime minister can request that
a federal election be held at any time as long as it is no later than five years after
the previous election. So, how does the election process work? On the request of the prime minister, the
governor general ends parliament and directs that the writs of election be issued. This means that a federal election is called. Canada is divided into smaller geographic
areas called ridings, or electoral districts. An election race is held in each riding to
represent the people living in that area. Political parties choose individuals to stand
for their party and compete for the job of Member of Parliament. These individuals are called candidates. Most candidates belong to a political party,
but some candidates also run as independents. It is the job of parties and candidates to
share their ideas and vision for Canada, and convince voters they are the best choice. When it’s time to vote, voters are given
a ballot with the names of the candidates running for election in their riding and asked
to mark their choice for one of the candidates. After the election, the ballots are counted
and the candidate with the most votes in each riding becomes the Member of Parliament. They go to the House of Commons to act for
and speak on behalf of the people of their riding. The political party that has the most candidates
elected will usually form the government; and their leader becomes the prime minister. Federal elections are important, because it
gives us an opportunity to shape our parliament, which makes laws that affect all of us. Your vote is your voice. Make it count!

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