Poli 110 - Into to Canadian Politics - Ch. 3 - 4

  1. Define political party
    An organization designed to get its candidates elected to Parliament. They are the primary connection between voters and Parliament.
  2. Define independent candidate
    Individuals running for electron to the House of Commons who are not affiliated with any political party. It is unusual for an independent candidate to win a seat in Parliament.
  3. Define party system
    The number of parties active in the political system at any one time. May refer to the dominant parties, only those that elect candidates or all parties depending on the context.
  4. Define fringe party
    Political parties that garner only a small percentage of the overall vote. They pay an important role in that they often raise issues that major parties ignore giving Canadians more options to participate in the political system.
  5. What caused Quebec to originally draw their support from the Conservative Party?
    Sir. Robert Borden's policy of conscription during WW1.
  6. Define populism
    A theory that extends the notion of democracy beyond the government. It is a belief that major political decisions should be made by the people. Populism can be left wing or right wing and is particularly prevalent in Western Canada.
  7. Who is Canada's longest serving Prime Minister and when?
    William Lyon Mackenzie King during WWII
  8. What is the official residence of the Prime Minister?
    24 Sussex Drive
  9. Define party discipline
    The expectation that members of a party in Parliament will follow the directions of their leader.
  10. What are the virtues and perils of populism?
    On the one hand it represents a more direct form of democracy, but on the other hand it is a recipe for political suicide as it lacks unit and the ability to get things done.
  11. Who was the first leader of the NDP and what is he known best for?
    Tommy Douglas - introducing the first universal health care program in Canada
  12. Who were the first leaders of the Reform party and Bloc Quebecois and when?
    • Reform : Preston Manning (son of Social Credit Party leader Ernest Manning)
    • Bloc - Lucien Bouchard (former finance minister under Brian Mulroney)

    These 2 parties emerged at the end of the Mulroney era.
  13. Define caucus
    All the members of a political party elected to Parliament and appointed to the Senate
  14. Define electoral districts
    The geographical constituencies in which MP's are elected in Canada's single member plurality electoral system. There are currently 308 electoral districts (AKA ridings which is uniquely Canadian) in Canada each with comparable populations.
  15. What is the maximum an individual can donate to a party and what kind of tax credit can they recieve?
    $1200 max donation per individual and they can recieve a $600 tax credit for donating the maximum amount.
  16. What are the 2 parts of the election campaign and how long does it last?
    • 1. The air war - party leaders spread their message across the country
    • 2. The ground war - party volunteers try and persuade people in their ridings to vote for their candidate.

    It all lasts 6 weeks
  17. Define brokerage parties
    Parties that are able to appeal to the different regions of Canada, especially the 2 major linguistic groups. They tend to be ideologically pragmatic following the wishes of the voters rather than standing on a set of predetermined principles.
  18. Define Missionary parties
    Parties that are strongly committed to their political principles and are generally not willing to compromise their principles for electoral advantage. Get stand in contrast to pragmatic brokerage parties.
  19. Define single issue parties
    Parties that are preocupied with only one issue. The marijuana party is concerned primarily with the decriminalization of drugs, especially marijuana.
  20. Define paper candidate
    Members of a political party that file papers with Elections Canada as candidates even though they have no expectation of getting elected. They do this so that their party can claim to be running candidates across the nation. The NDP had several paper candidates in Quebec during the 2011 election who surprisingly won their seats.
  21. Define asymmetrical federalism
    A type of federalism where the provinces exercise different powers. Ie. Quebec
  22. Define wedge politics
    When a political party decides to take one side of a hot button issue to attract more votes and divide the remaining electorate among the opposing parties. The conservatives were successful in 2011 by using crime, low taxes, the military and Israel as wedge issues.
  23. Define electoral system
    The rules by which votes are translated into seats in Parliament.
  24. Define single member plurality (SMP) electoral system
    An electoral system that provides for geographic representation in the legislature. The county is divided into geographic constituencies with approximately equal populations. A number of candidates will contest the electing in each constituency and the candidate with the most votes is elected to the legislature. This electoral system is very easy to use but the distribution of seats in the legislature is not always proportional to a party's share of the vote in the election.
  25. Define proportional representation (PR) electoral system
    An electoral system that ensures the distribution of seats in the legislature is proportional to a party's share of the popular vote in the election. A party with 20% of the popular vote will recieve 20% of the sears in the legislature. There are a number of proportional representation electoral systems including the simple list system, mixed member proportional and the single transferable vote.
  26. When must an election be called? (2)
    • 1. When the government loses the confidence of the House
    • 2. The Constitution Act of 1867 states that elections must be called every 5 years, but convention has been to have them every 4 years. Now we have fixed election dates.
  27. Under the new fixed elections law Harper introduced in 2006, when are elections supposed to be held?
    The third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year.
  28. First past the post
    The informal name for the single member plurality electoral system
  29. Safe seats
    Ridings that political parties can generally count on winning in the election
  30. Swing ridings
    Ridings with a long history of electing candidates from different parties
  31. Bellwether ridings
    Ridings with a unique habit of electing a candidate to Parliament who belongs to the winning party.
  32. Representative sample
    A subset of the population that accurately reflects te entire population
  33. Popular vote
    The total number of votes recieve by a political party across all constituencies divided by the number of votes cast in the election and multiplied by 100. It is expressed as a percentage of the vote. This information is irrelevant in the SMP system but it is used by the media to judge the performance of the political parties in the election.
  34. Duverger's law
    A law that stipulates the SMP electoral system will result in a party system with two strong parties and most likely only two parties.
  35. Coalition government
    Governments that are composed of two or more political parties.
  36. What is the main benefit of the SMP system?
    It creates stability by forcing the top parties to compete for the majority of votes in the center of the political spectrum. Therefore, the government is always fairly close to center allowing Canada to grow and prosper.
  37. Strategic voting
    When a person votes for their 2nd or 3rd presence of party or candidate in an attempt to prevent the least favorite candidate or party from winning the seat. For example, a supporter of the green party might vote for a liberal to prevent the Conservative candidate from winning.
  38. Cabinet
    The central decision making body in the Canadian political system. It is led by the Prime Minister and includes the other ministers of government.
  39. What are the weaknesses of the SMP electoral system?
    • 1. It does not translate voter preference into seats accurately.
    • 2. This causes certain regions to be unrepresented and promotes further regional clevages.
  40. Systemic discrimination
    A form of discrimination produced by the operational logic of a system rather than individual intentions.
  41. List system
    The simplest and purist form of all the proportional representation electoral systems. Each party produces a list of candidates equal to the number of seats in the government, with the leader ranked first and the most junior candidate last. On election day citizens would vote for the party of their choice. Seats in the government are allocated to each party proportional to its share of the popular vote.
  42. Mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral systems
    An electoral system that combines the single-member plurality electoral system with the simple list electoral system. Each person votes for a candidate to represent the constituency he or she lives in and for a political party with a list of candidates. Votes for the list are used to iron out the disproportionalities caused by the election of candidates through the first-past-the-post system.
  43. Single transferable vote (STV) AA electoral system
    The electoral system used in Ireland and Malta. The country is divided into a number of geographic constituencies in which multiple candidates will be elected. Constituencies with relatively small populations might elect only 2 candidates, but very large constituencies might elect as many as 6 candidates. Voters have the opportunity to rank order the candidates according to their preference. Candidates are elected according to a complex electoral quotient.
Card Set
Poli 110 - Into to Canadian Politics - Ch. 3 - 4
Poli 110 - Into to Canadian Politics - Ch. 3 - 4.txt