FEDERAL: You cannot vote for the leader

Voting in provincial and federal elections in Canada has an unexpected wrinkle in it. You cannot directly vote for the leader of any party. Instead, you vote for the party representative in your riding, your area, and if the party gets the overall majority in the election, you leadership candidate becomes the victorious leader

You vote, and yet, you cannot vote.

The Canadian political system tries to be very democratic by making your local vote count for more. You vote for the local representative you like. If he or she wins, they take a seat in the respective legislature. If a majority of that party’s representatives win seats, the leader of that particular party is asked to form a government. Provincial and federal elections work that way in Canada.

The positive side of voting for the local candidate is exactly as it looks. You elect a local representative who you want.

The disadvantage of the political voting system we have is that you cannot vote for the leader of the government; you can be stuck in voting for a local candidate you dislike in order to give your leader of choice enough elected reps to form a government; by voting locally, you could be electing a candidate you support locally in turn supporting a leader who you do not want.

Given all the above
Let’s suppose you dislike Doug Ford, current leader of the PC, Progressive Conservative Party and do not want him to lead the government but you like the PC candidate in your riding as he/she has proven their worth over many elections. Voting for the local candidate means you support Doug Ford. If he gets enough reps, he forms the government and you ‘lose.’

The worse situation could be if you dislike FORD, and Liberal leader, Kathleen WYNNE, but never support NDP policies, you could end up electing ANDREA HORWATH by default.


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