By-Election Madness

Photo from CBC

Photo from CBC

Today, four by-elections will be taking place: one in Ontario, one in Quebec, and two in Manitoba. I don’t know about you, but I have a great many questions about these by-elections.  Let’s do some research! Firstly, I have posted a few media stories below to help us with the basic content. Secondly, watch what happens tonight.

Your task is as such: 1) Ask a question or two in order to start a few threads 2) Respond to someone else’s question using sound logic and evidence. You can answer more than one question!

Elections Canada Information

CBC Video

CBC Article

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16 thoughts on “By-Election Madness

    • From the by-elections amongst the Bourassa riding, Toronto centre riding, Manitoba Provencher riding, and Brandon Souris riding, I have come to some questions:

      How will the senate scandals affect the conservative ridings of Brandon Souris and the Manitoba Provencher?

      Will the result of the 4 by-elections shift the power in the 303 seats in the House of Commons?

      The results for the four federal by-elections two winners have been with Conservative candidate Ted Falk winning in the Provencher riding in Manitoba and Liberal candidate Emmanuel Dubourg winning in the Bourassa riding in Montreal. While in Brandon Souris, the Liberal candidate Larry McGuire has claimed victory while Liberal candidate Chrystia Freeland have won in the Toronto centre riding. This has basically summed up the results of the 4 by-elections.

  1. In response to Jieun’s questions:

    Are these by-elections common?
    It is impossible to say how often they occur, since they are only called when a seat becomes vacant with the death or resignation of a member. However, we know that they are usually held in between general elections.

    What might be the other reasons of why people might resign from their seat?
    The reasons greatly vary, depending on the member. For example, Bob Rae, the former MP for Toronto Centre, resigned because he has a passion and enthusiasm for helping First Nations peoples. He became the chief negotiator for First Nations in talks with the Ontario government. Vic Toews, a cabinet minister, resigned because his child is entering grade 1. Also, he feels that he wants to “step aside and begin the next chapter of [his] life.”

    My questions:

    Why might by-elections be important to all parties?

    Why might they not be significant?

  2. In response to Justin’s Question:

    Why might by-elections be important to all parties?
    By-elections are important to all parties because this is a chance to add one more seat in the federal or provincial government. By-elections are also an opportunity to test an individual party, for example, this is a test for the liberal party and their leader. “A loss of either riding would burst the bubble on which Liberals have been floating since Trudeau was chosen as leader last spring.”

    My question:

    How much money does the government and the other parties spend on by-elections?
    Are by elections more important than actual elections?

  3. In response to Justin’s question,
    Why might by they not be significant to parties?
    If there is a majority government, the party that holds the majority is holds it by more than four seats, that party might not be as concerned about the by-elections. This is because even if they don’t win a single seat in the by-election, they will still have the majority and be in control of the government.

    My question:
    Did all four of the people that resigned resign at the exact same time? If not, how is the time for a by-election chosen?

  4. In response to Kelli’s question: How is the time for a by-election chosen?
    By-elections are held when seats in the House of Commons become vacant – for example, when an MP resigns. When a seat in the House of Commons officially becomes vacant, the Speaker of the House must inform the Chief Electoral Officer immediately.
    The date of the by-election is determined by the Governor in Council (the Governor General, acting on the advice of Cabinet). The by-election must be called between the 11th day and the 180th day after the receipt by the Chief Electoral Officer of the document sent by the Speaker of the House advising of the vacancy. The Canada Elections Act (section 57) specifies that the election period must last a minimum of 36 days; it does not specify a maximum.
    Source: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=faq&document=faqelec&lang=e#b1

    My question is: Who is eligible to vote in a by-election?

  5. In response to Viki’s question: “Who is eligible to vote in a by-election?”
    You must be 18 years of age or older on the election day, a Canadian citizen, registered to vote and live in the electoral district that is having the by-election.

    My Question:
    How much do by-elections affect the government?

    • In response to Sophie’s question: How much do by-elections affect the government?

      It only affects the government if the difference in the number of seats between the federal and the leading opposition parties is very small meaning that some parties can lose some seats to other parties. In the long term, the riding that switches parties may remain loyal to the party and could help shift the balance to the upcoming election.

  6. In response to Justin’s question by elections are important to all parties because when a party has more seats filled there are more people from that party to vote therefore it is more likely the bill they have suggested will be passed.
    How does a party choose who their candidates are?

  7. Response to Megan’s question: “How does a party choose who their candidates are?” A political party holds primary sessions. A primary is an election conducted by a political party to help pick candidates to put forward in a general election. The political party’s ultimate selection occurs at a convention, which is a large gathering of party leaders from around the country held after the primary season. But that convention nomination process is very much controlled by what happen in the primaries that lead up to it.

    What process do by elections go through?
    Are by elections similar to regular elections?

    • In response to Anna’s question: “Are by elections similar to regular elections”, By elections are the same as normal elections, however they only take place in the ridings where needed, instead of the whole country.

      My question is:

      How common are by elections in today’s government?

  8. Jack’s A: The elections occur whenever their are vacant seats in the House of Commons, which happens often. Many members tend to resign due to different scenarios but once the seat is vacant, notice is given immediately and a date is decided. It general, they happen every 2-3 years.

    Q: does the by-election majorly affect the party in power?

  9. In response to Ravneet it really depends on the number of by-elections and the number of seats the leading parties have. If the party in power is a minority and the majesty’s opposition just barely lost, it would make a difference.

    Q: Have their been any major shift in power because of by-elections?

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