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POLS 2300 – Canadian Politics and Governance Exam Notes
Multiple Choice (30) and Essay Section (2/3)
MC will cover the chapter after the second quiz (Pages 311-340; Chapters 4, 13-16)
Essay topics revolve around: (1) Party Systems, (2) Federalism, (3) Aboriginal Rights and Freedom, (4) Policies? Pages 311-340: Parties and Elections (Chapter 10)
2000 Election:
The 2000 election was called for no better reason than what appeared to be its winnability (by the Canadian Alliance) – Stockwell Day (CA) v. Jean Chretien (L)
Facts that make the 2000 election strange:
> Alliance share of popular vote went from 19.4% (1997) to 25.5 (2000)
> HoC increased seats from 60 to 66
> popular vote in Ontario surpasses that of the PCP and NDP combined
Although the 2000 election was looking promising for the Alliance, Liberals won with more votes than before
2004/2006/2008 Election:
The 2003 merger of the PCP and the Alliance eliminated the thought that the Liberal Party would stay permanent
The goal for the NDP and Conservative party was a breakthrough in Ontario
English Canada was deteriorating the Liberal Party’s chance in succeeding
Liberals attacked the conservatives with ads claiming they had a hidden agenda (i.e. abortion, health care privatization, American war adventures, etc.)
2004 election proved that campaigns work and the liberals successfully managed to distance voters from the conservatives
However, with the apparent discipline of the conservative party, deflecting all claims, proved the desperation of the liberals which led to a conservative minority government
Realignment Election: dramatic change in the political system
2011 Election (60/40 country):
The separation of the liberal party v. conservative party
NDP came second and for the liberals into the third while the conservatives obtained a majority government
Selecting Party Leaders:
In 1887, the first French party leader for the liberals as selected among only 80 voters (they used to vote a member of the caucus into power)
Being a frontrunner has a downfalls, such as the scrutiny that comes along (Dion > Ignatieff [2006])
Based on the dynamic chart, once the first ballot was passed, Dion came ahead as voters lost interest because of how high their preliminary opinion was
Leadership isn’t always due to merit but due to chance, leading to a relatively weaker candidacy
Three Models of Leadership Selection:
(1) Party Caucus – Participants are the members of the party; selection is behind closed doors
(2) Party Activists (Narrow) – Party members are elected from members of their ridings; selection is as a result of months of campaigns and
(3) Party Activists (Broad) - Party Members; election is by party members
Consequences of the Electoral System
In 1979 (much like G. W. Bush), the conservatives got more vots but less seats so they lost the election as a whole
Single-member constituency: one person is elected to represent the citizens of a particular geographical region called a riding/constituency
Plurality System: The one voted through such method falls under the plurality system
Proportional Representation: the number of members elected by each party coincides with its share of the popular vote (votes count)
Election Expenses Act, 1974: spending limits for individual candidate and political parties during election campaigns
Brokerage Politics: vote goes to the highest bidder
- Multi-Party: (advantage) separates views clearly and provides choice
- National Policy (1878-9): The National Policy was a central economic and political strategy of the Conservative Party under Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, and many of his successors in high office. It meant that from 1878 until the Second World War, Canada levied high tariffs on foreign imported goods, to shield Canadian manufacturers from American competition.
ISSUES WITH THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM:
Canada's single-member plurality (SMP) electoral system is no longer acceptable. Our representative democracy faces serious…