On September 20, Canadians will vote in an election called by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Since this election is two years early and was not expected, it’s only natural that a lot of people are looking for answers.
Here’s everything you need to know about the early election in Canada in September 2021.
On August 15, PM Trudeau decided to seek a new mandate for himself and his party. He dissolved Parliament and triggered a snap election. His hope is to seek a majority in the House of Commons and have the confidence of the Canadian citizens to continue to rule. To understand what a minority or majority means, it’s important to know how Canadian elections work.
In Canada, you elect one member of parliament, also called an MP, to represent your riding. Each riding is led by an elected member of parliament. Most elections are won by the party with the most MPs elected to the House of Commons, and the head of that party becomes Prime Minister.
Normally, elections are held every four years. PM Trudeau initially had a majority in 2015, but he has been ruling without a majority since 2019. He presently has a minority of seats in the House of Commons, making him reliant on third parties to govern. Due to the numbers in Parliament, the Liberals need the support of one other political party in order to pass laws and rule. So far, they’ve been negotiating this on a case-by-case basis. The second-largest party in Parliament right now is the Conservatives. This makes them the official opposition.
While there is a question of if PM Trudeau will resign if his party loses the election, he has not answered this question directly, making the future of the Liberals uncertain. Canada is currently in the midst of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some predictions say they will want to continue with the current leadership, while some say they are looking for a change.
In order to vote in a federal election in Canada, you must meet the following criteria: Be a Canadian citizen (Both temporary and permanent residents are ineligible to vote)
If you are not on the list of electors, but you know you’re eligible to vote, you must add your name to the list using the online voters’ registration service. You can also submit a Registration Certificate at your local polling station or Elections Canada office. If you are unsure, see Elections Canada for up-to-date information. You can pre-register until September 14 at 6 p.m.
The “voter card” or voter information card is a way to prove the identity and address of the voter. In order to vote the majority of people show their driver's licence, which will have their address on it. However, not everyone has a licence.
Elections Canada sends customized voter information cards out before election day. The voters that these are sent to are informed that they are enrolled to vote on the card. It also tells people when and where to vote, how to vote, and where they can receive further information.
The card is mailed to electors whose addresses are listed in the National Register of Electors, a database of eligible voters in federal elections in Canada.
The Canada Revenue Agency, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, drivers' license and vital statistics organizations from Canadian provinces and territories are among the sources Elections Canada uses to keep the Register up to date. Even if you have a card, you still have to bring a piece of ID to vote. This can be something like a utility bill, or a student ID.
Here’s a checklist of the options you can bring on election day:
Show one of these:
If you don't have an ID, you can still vote. You must provide written proof of your identification and address, as well as the signature of someone who knows you and is assigned to your polling location. A neighbour, for example. The person vouching must be able to provide proof of identification and address. Only one person can vouch for another (except in long-term care facilities).
What election promises are the main parties making, who are their leaders, and what are the issues? Here are the answers.
This is PM Trudeau’s party, the current ruling party. The Liberals want to continue the emergency wage subsidy until October. Free vaccine boosters and increased spending on domestic vaccine production are among the other pledges made by the party. Vaccination would be required for federal personnel as well as passengers on trains, airlines, and cruise ships. While initially, PM Trudeau had a slight edge in the polls, as election day comes closer that edge has dropped significantly.
This party is more right-leaning in its politics. Erin O'Toole, the Conservative leader, has accused Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of putting Canadians in danger for selfish reasons. A big issue is the billion-dollar pandemic spending and budget deficits. O'Toole claims that without making cuts, he will be able to balance Canada's finances within a decade. The party opposes compulsory vaccination, claiming that vaccination is a personal decision.
The National Democrat Party has a well-known charismatic leader, Jagmeet Singh. The party is known as a left-leaning one that supports investing in social programs. While it has promised CAD 214 billion in spending, it plans to raise that money by taxing big businesses and wealthy citizens. Healthcare is a big item in that budget. Canada’s residents can expect the NDP to give them universal prescription drug coverage, expand long-term care and home-care options, especially for low-income people.
Led by Annamie Paul since October 2020, the Greens promise to provide a guaranteed livable income, abolish post-secondary tuition, implement pharmacare and free dental care, and decriminalize the personal possession of illicit narcotics. They would also enact legislation that encourages green investment and job creation while also imposing sanctions on environmentally detrimental goods and services, such as higher taxes.