Helpful Links for Canadian Federal Election 2019

The news is in: the Canadian federal election is officially under way. On October 21, 2019, a new government will be formed, and thus far all indications are it’ll be a tight race, with no clear majority and no clear party ahead in the pack.

As political science alumnus, this is an exciting time for me, as I watch the strategy, the tactics, the policies and–well, basically the whole thing. I have, however, realized that many Canadians don’t know where to turn to find out what they need to know. Good news is, with the power of the Internet, it’s easier than ever to stay informed and hold politicians accountable.

1) Register to Vote At Elections Canada

Visit this link to register to vote. Note, that this is mainly a time-saver: by registering to vote, you’ll get an election card sent to your address that you can bring with you to the ballot box and streamline the process a tad. If you don’t register through this link, don’t panic: you can still register the day of, and it’s pretty easy to do so. You just need a couple of pieces of ID and something proving your address. Now, I would actually recommend bringing more than a couple pieces of ID just to be safe: Driver’s License, Health Card, Passport, and Birth Certificate would be the best combo to bring, and should cover all your bases. If you’re renting, or if you’re a student, make sure you bring your lease with you (if you’re in residence, there’s some other proofs of address you can bring–ask your RAs and school staff to be safe!). The lease acts as proof of address so you can pair that with your IDs if none of your IDs have the address you’re renting at.

2) Vote Savvy

Vote Savvy is a wonderful NGO based out of Guelph, Ontario that has done some great work in previous elections helping postsecondary students figure out the whole voting process. Definitely check them out.

3)  Vote Compass

Vote Compass is a helpful tool that CBC puts together to help voters figure out which party aligns with their values the most. Maybe don’t let it be your only source, but definitely try it out to see if it helps with the decision.

4) Snopes Fact Checker

Snopes is my go-to fact checker, and it’ll be more important than ever during the Canadian election. It’s especially useful for fact-checking claims made on the Internet through viral memes and such, so make liberal use of it to be sure you don’t get fooled.

5) Cross-compare CBC, Global, CTV, etc. 
Mainstream media in Canada is generally pretty solid, with relatively few differences–but it’s still a good idea to cross-compare to see if you spot any differences. Mainstream media in Canada also tends to skew things a bit to the Liberal and Conservative party bases, so use some caution there.

6) Town Halls, Information Events, Debates, etc. 
In your local communities there will likely be a host of town halls and debates; national leaders debates will be televised through election season; and Political Science departments and societies will be organizing information events on postsecondary campuses. These are good ways to get advised of the basic talking points and gain info on the election process. These are the ones I’d recommend the most caution with, however: people are generally in full performance mode, you can’t always return to what they said at your leisure, and charisma and style generally counts more than substance in these arenas–which is great for getting elected, but not always a reliable sign of their ability to actually govern.

7) Ask friends and family “in the know”. 
I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ve got at least one friend or family member who knows something about politics–usually to the annoyance of everyone around them when they don’t know how to shut up about it. Now’s a good time to ask those friends and family members for their take on stuff. Again, exercise caution here: it DOES take a certain skill to present things with minimal bias, so watch out for skewed views, but it doesn’t hurt to ask once.

Hope that helps! Remember to get out the vote so that you have a right to complain if it doesn’t go the way you want.

P.S. All votes count. Even if your candidate doesn’t get elected, the proportion of the popular vote that each party gets allots some funding to them for future elections. So voting for them may not pay dividends this election cycle, but could set them up for a better chance next one.
P.P.S. Federal and provincial parties are technically separate animals. They have similar names by traditions, but don’t assume that they hold the same values, because they don’t always. The federal and provincial governments also have different powers and responsibilities, so that can also play a role in things.

Published by Devin Hogg

My name is Devin Hogg. I was born and raised in Carnarvon, Ontario, Canada. I moved to Guelph, Ontario, Canada in 2009 for university and lived here ever since. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching TV and movies, going on long walks, swimming, and practicing Chen style Tai Chi. I love to write poetry and blog regularly about topics such as mental health, sci-fi/fantasy series, faith, sexuality, and politics.

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