Regionalism and Its Effect on the Canadian State Essay examples

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Since the beginning of Canadian history, regionalism has had a prominent effect on the country`s political system. The concept of regionalism can be defined as a political ideology grounded on a shared sense of place or attachment and is discussed in terms of Canadian society, culture, economy and politics.1 From the days of confederation, Canada has developed into regional cleavages and identities based on various geographical characteristics, traditional lifestyles and economic interests. Two of Canada`s greatest regionally distinct political cultures are known as Western alienation and Quebec nationalism.2 Historically, the lack of regional awareness and accommodation within Canada’s central government has given rise to a great deal …show more content…
Canadian elections are based on an electoral system most commonly known as the “first-past-the-post” system.7 This system is constructed in a way where citizens of numerous geographical regions or constituencies are allowed to elect a single candidate as their own political party representation. Basically, the candidate with the most votes in a given constituency wins a seat in the House of Commons. However, this type of electoral system raises many questions about whether election outcomes are truly and justly representing party preference on the national scale. The main reason for this criticism relates to the fact that candidates are able to win an election in a constituency regardless of whether they won over 50 percent of the total popular vote. Consequently, the number of seats a party wins in the House of Commons will very unlikely be in proportion with their actual share of the popular vote. Therefore, the system has the tendency to punish minor parties with widespread provincial support while benefiting the leading parties with rather concentrated central support. A great example of the misrepresentation of the electoral system was seen during the 1979 elections when Joe Clark of the Conservative party was elected as Prime Minister, despite the Liberals receiving at least 4 percent more of the country’s popular vote.8 Not only is the