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The electoral system in Canada

2020-06-24 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: 更多范文

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下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 -- The electoral system in Canada,文章讲述加拿大的选举制度在投票制度中具有多数/多数席位,并伴随着其议会制和单一成员区。加拿大的立法机关是议会,由上议院(参议院),下议院(下议院)以及由总督代表的君主组成。总理建议总督任命上议院的105名参议员,下议院的338名国会议员由选民直接选举产生,他们每个人都代表一个选举区。

The electoral system in Canada

The electoral system in Canada has the plurality/majority in the voting scheme which is accompanied with its parliamentary system and single member districts. Canada’s legislative branch is its parliament with the upper house (Senate), the lower house (House of Commons) together with the Monarch, who is represented by the Governor General. The Prime Minister advices the Governor General to appoint 105 senators in the upper house, and the 338 Members of Parliament (MPs) at the House of Commons are directly elected by voters, each of them representing an electoral district.

Structural Constraints

Winning consecutive terms is crucial to the government party since it affects the survival of agencies. The parliamentary government systems are studied by scholars by extending the theory of separation of power for government agency survival. James, et al. (2015) found that agencies will face increased risk when the departmental minister, prime minister or government is transited, particularly in cases where the new ones think that the old agencies should be changed. By using survival models and data from the executive agencies of UK from 1989 to 2012, they found that ministers always terminated agencies established by previous ministers for making their mark. They would create new agencies which would obtain high media attentions. Elected governments in parliamentary systems have incentives to affect government agencies survival (James, Petrovsky, Moseley, & Boyne, 2015).

Whether a party can win majority is also influenced by its finance situations on campaigning. Carty and Young (2013) explored the capability of various political parties in the Canada's electoral competition by analyzing each constituency spending over the last three decades. They researched the level of the patterns and strength of constituency campaigning by utilizing election spending to public accounts of party candidates in Canada. Therefore the conclusion was made that in different times, the role of electoral regimes are different, which means that the political regimes put limitations on finance and spending (Carty & Young, 2013).

Institutional Constraints

Within the institution, party leaders have great power in the political system. By studying the House of Commons in Canada, Loewen, et al. (2014) observed and analyzed the influence of lawmaker behaviour on electoral outcomes in parliamentary systems by using a unique natural test for unobserved differences on election outcomes. The findings indicate that there is causal effect of lawmakers on electoral outcomes. That is to say members of the governing party have a significant electoral advantage with the power to propose. A conclusion was drawn that legislative opportunities were used by politicians for the winning in the election in parliamentary systems (Loewen, Koop, Settle, & Fowler, 2014).

Institutional constraints occur within these dimensions not only affect the governing party, but also can be used by politicians in their own favour during elections. Since elections in Canada have three dimensions: national, regional and local events, political competition of the country is structured consequently (Carty & Young, 2013). During analysis of Canada’s legislative voting, Godbout and Høyland (2011) applied the Bayesian simulation to estimate a two-dimensional item-response model based on the spatial theory of voting during 35th and 38th Parliaments. They found that the actual location of members in the same party always had little variation over a legislative session because Westminster style parliaThe electoral system in Canadamentary system usually had very strong party discipline. Therefore, it can be concluded that the institutional constraint of the parliamentary system reflects in its strong party discipline and predictably little variations.

Impacts on Future Election

The electoral system with structure and institutional constraints has impacts on future election. Governed by the Canada Elections Act, the national elections first elect their MPs for the House of Commons, and the party with most seats appoint their leader as the Prime Minister.

The electoral system in Canada is a plurality system. This means that whoever wins more seats than its main opposite can guarantee victory in election, and that the two parties at the time of election – the Liberal and Conservative – shall each fight for as much electoral districts as possible, regardless of how large the population is at that district. If the Conservative Party can achieve victory in a single province by taking most seats, the possibility of winning is higher. For example, in the 308 seat House of Commons, if one party captures up to 50 of Quebec's 75 seats, then the other party is almost impossible to form a majority government (Carty & Young, 2013). Compared to proportional representation, plurality emphasizes the single-winner system and allows voters to focus on the candidate they mostly believe in. Plurality also shares other advantages including local accountability, for it constantly ensure an outstanding candidate from a region to be elected over others, which is similar to other single-winner systems (Rallings & Thrasher, 2005).

The plurality system preserves the ‘one person, one vote’ principle, in which each voter casts one vote in an election towards a certain candidate. In this setting, the candidate who is preferred by most voters gets the absolute majority during the process (Rallings & Thrasher, 2005). This favours the current party if their voters are firm about their grounds, and since it has the previous victory, it is quite uncommon for a party member to cast votes to its opposite. The ‘one person, one vote’ principle ensures the absolute majority and avoids multiple choices in voters to shake their faith.

What is more, the plurality system tends to favour the largest parties in the election, and is often accused by the smaller ones for its ‘unfairness’. However, in the case of the Conservative Party and leader Harper, it is actually good news. Its opposite parties have difficulty winning representation at the House, and it can easily form majority government by receiving under 40% of total votes (Rallings & Thrasher, 2005). With many electorate turning out at the voting day, the actual effective votes only compose some 60%, which means that the Conservative Party just have to earn votes from less than 24% of total electorates. Meanwhile, the Conservative Party can win disproportionately in regions that they have a strong following. Rallings and Thrasher (2005) state an example: in the 1993 election, Bloc Québécois won 52 seats all from Quebec, while the Conservatives only had 2 seats. However, their spreads were very close as in 18% and 16% of national votes. Similarly, if this time the Conservatives can win most seats from several single districts, then its change to form majority government enhances even with close national support rates.

However, there are some disadvantages for the Conservatives as well. The location of the party groups has changed greatly in recent years. Different results happen despite the current government and the majority. The elections of the 38th, 39th, and 40th Parliaments have shown that the formation of minority governments and the fragmentation of the party system are the primary result of such a legislative policy (Godbout & Høyland, 2011). Therefore, it is possible that other parties with similar size and supporters may steal the victory from Conservatives.

Presidential System

If Canada has a presidential system of government instead of a parliamentary system, possible different outcomes might occur.

Similarity between both the parliamentary and presidential political systems is that they had similar budgetary patterns and their shifts were in punctuated equilibrium. From this angle, there might not be many changes if Canada has a presidential system, and election outcomes might stay so.

The difference, on the other hand, is that compared to the countries with parliamentary systems or a unitary system, the US with federal and presidential systems has higher institutional frictions. This cause parties to own various campaign techniques, which draws voters with stronger opinions. For example, scholars found that US policy was increasingly towards the environmental health of children, while the Canadian policy was different from US policy (Gupta, 2012). The reason is that the entrepreneurial manoeuvring has more room in the US presidential system; it is constrained in the Canadian parliamentary system. Therefore, if most voters are keen towards economic boost and are environmental friendly, they will vote for the Party who promote change, strengthen the economy, and protect the environment.

In conclusion, the Conservatives have a nice shot in the coming election, and the prime minister therefore decided to call for early election. If Canada had a different system, say, the presidential system, the result might by quite different. The two dimensional legislative policy space of Canadian legislature is very strong due to the Westminster style parliamentary system combined with a plurality voting method, geographic-based representation and federalism (Godbout & Høyland, 2011). To predict the election outcome, the structural and institutional constraints must be taken into account.

 

Bibliography

Ferris, J. S., Winer, S. L., & Grofman, B. (2012). Do departures from democratic accountability compromise the stability of public finances? Keynesianism, central banking, and minority governments in the Canadian system of party government, 1867–2009. Constitutional Political Economy , 23, pp. 213-243.

Godbout, J. F., & Høyland, B. (2011). Legislative voting in the Canadian Parliament. Canadian Journal of Political Science , 44, pp. 367-388.

Gupta, K. (2012). Comparative public policy: Using the comparative method to advance our understanding of the policy process. Policy Studies Journal , 40, pp. 11-26.

James, O., Petrovsky, N., Moseley, A., & Boyne, G. A. (2015). The Politics of Agency Death: Ministers and the Survival of Government Agencies in a Parliamentary System. British Journal of Political Science , pp. 1-22.

Loewen, P. J., Koop, R., Settle, J., & Fowler, J. H. (2014). A natural experiment in proposal power and electoral success. American Journal of Political Science , 58, pp. 189-196.

Rallings, C., & Thrasher, M. (2005). The 2005 general election: analysis of the results. , Research, Electoral data. London: Electoral Commission. Retrieved 29 March 2015. London.

Saratchand, C., & Mohanty, S. S. (2014). Proportional Representation Electoral System: A Stepping Stone in the Furthering of Indian Democracy. Journal of Studies in Dynamics and Change , 1, pp. 208-213.

The Local Underpinnings of Electoral Competition in Canada, 1979-20082013Canadian Political Science Review 6227-236

Türk, R. (2011). Feasibility of Presidential System in Turkey. Turkish Journal of Politics , 2, pp. 33-48.

 

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