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The 43rd Canadian Federal Election: How It Works and the Official Results

By: Politicized News

· Global Affairs

How does the Canadian federal election system work?

In the United States, the authority of the federal government is ultimately vested in the people. The federal system balances power between the National Government and the numerous co-equal States’ governments. Laws are formed by the citizenry’s popularly elected representatives in Congress (the lower House of Representatives and upper Senate), enforced by the elected President, and interpreted by the appointed Supreme Court. The American President in particular is elected by the Electoral College, which convenes every four years in December to elect the President. The American President requires an absolute majority of the Electoral College’s support (at 270 votes) to be elected. Within Congress, if the majority party does not receive a majority of the seats of both houses, then the Congress is divided, and bipartisan support is generally required to pass legislation.

In contrast to this system, in Canada, the authority of the federal government is ultimately vested in the Monarch of Canada, currently Queen Elizabeth II of Windsor. The federal system balances power between the National Government, the ten provinces, and the three territories. Queen Elizabeth II has been represented by the Governor-General of Canada Julie Payette since 2017. Laws are formed by the citizenry’s representatives in Parliament (the popularly elected lower House of Commons and appointed upper Senate), entered into force with the Queen’s assent, enforced by the elected Prime Minister, and interpreted by the appointed Supreme Court. The Canadian Prime Minister in particular is elected by the House of Commons, and is generally the leader of the majority party of the House. The Prime Minister requires a majority party of the House’s support (at 170 seats) to be elected. If the majority party does not receive a majority of the seats, but a simple plurality, then the government is divided, and a multi-party coalition is required for the parliament to confidently pass a legislative agenda. The Prime Minister with his Cabinet form the executive administration of Canada.

Election Results:

In Canada, there are six primary political parties. In order of popular support, they are: The Liberal Party, the Conservative Party, the New Democratic Party, the Bloc Quebecois, the Green Party, and the People’s Party. Political parties play a large role in Canadian elections; swipe to see more about each party.

Per normal constitutional convention, the House of Commons is dissolved before the general election. Governor-General Julie Payette issued the writs of election for the 43rd Canadian General Election on September 11, 2019. The 2019 Canadian federal election took place on October 21, 2019. When the House was dissolved, the Liberal Party had 177 seats, enough for a majority government: the Conservative Party had 95 seats; the New Democratic Party had 39 seats; the Bloc Quebecois had ten seats, the Green Party had two seats, the People’s Party had one seat; and, there were nine independents. The 43rd General Election saw the Liberal Party retaining a plurality of the House, with Justin Trudeau entering into his second term as Prime Minister, though losing its political majority, and the Conservative Party returning as the Official Opposition Party: The Liberal Party lost 20 seats, ending with 157 seats; the Conservative Party gained 26 seats, ending with 121 seats; the Bloc Quebecois gained 22 seats, ending with 32 seats; the New Democratic Party lost 15 seats, ending with 24 seats; the Green Party gained one seat, ending with three seats; the People’s Party lost its one seat; and, there was only one independent elected.
Going forward, the Liberals will have to negotiate with other parties such as the NDP or the Bloc Quebecois (which grew in influence 3.2 times) in order to confidently pass legislation. The Conservatives had its influence grew 1.27 times. No Liberal was elected in Saskatchewan or Alberta. No Conservative was elected in Newfoundland & Labrador or Prince Edward Island, or any of the territories. No NDP member was elected in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, or Saskatchewan. The Greens only has representation in New Brunswick and British Columbia (BC). The only independent was elected in BC.

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