The Vote: What

Rahman Mohamed
Choose the lead

Democracy: it’s a founding stone in Canadian history.  Constitutionally there must be an election every 5 years unless there is a state of emergency.  The question: what is a vote?

In society there have always been leaders.  When humans lived in caves the leader was often the strongest, largest human.  Physically having larger bodies than women, men were better adapt to protect a tribe from the predators; the strongest became the leaders.  Later, as humans evolved and built homes away from the bears the protection switched from predators to other tribes – humans.  Women give birth to children and are naturally built to take care (breast milk).  Still perfecting the wheel the men were often the leader – protecting the town while women cared for children.

Recently in human evolution homo sapiens developed multiple roles to effectively advance and uphold society.  Seeking to “lead themselves” rather than relying on kings and royal families or someone who was just big, strong and hairy, democracy was created.  Having large populations, rather than gathering everyone in the town to decide on decisions a system to choose someone to represent a group of people or a section of the town was created: democracy.

In Canada democracy has been based on electoral districts created by population.  A electoral district is an area of land.  Depending on the jurisdiction – what should be led, an electoral districts is created.  In Canada a jurisdiction is city, province, or Canada.  Equal representation leads to riding boundaries; districts are created to ensure equal representation, all Canadians have an equal voice in the jurisdiction, district boundaries are created using population, the number of people living in an area.  Small areas with a lot of people will have smaller/multiple ridings than large areas with few people.  Ontario and Quebec were both part of the original four of confederation, the creation of Canada in 1867.  Although Quebec has a larger area than Ontario it has a smaller population.  Ontario has 121 electoral districts; Quebec has 78.  Each district has a similar number of people.  Districts in Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec cover a larger area than districts in Southern.  This ensures a similar number of people are in each district to ensure all Canadians have a similar influence on the governing of Canada.  Ottawa is bigger than Toronto by area but Toronto has a higher population than Ottawa; there are more districts in Toronto than Ottawa to make sure the same number of people have a representative regardless of where they live.

The size of a federal electoral district is determined by the number of seats in the House of Commons.  Each seat is for one electoral district.  Population change and movement affect the number of seats in the House of Commons (more Canadians and people moving); Ontario has more seats in the House of Commons than Quebec.

As Canada grew more seats in the House of Commons were created; when British Columbia joined confederation, became a Canadian province, the House of Commons grew based on area and people; other provinces had more seats but people in each district were given an equal voice by ensuring each district represented a similar amount of people.

Boundaries are often different provincially; Ontario federal and provincial electoral district boundaries differ so Canadians living in Ontario have equal representation in House of Commons and Ontario Provincial Parliament.  City electoral districts greatly differ from Provincial and Federal; a city is a smaller area; based on the number of Councillors at City Hall the districts are created.

A Vote is a person giving an opinion for which candidate will best to represent the district.  The candidate with the most support, the most votes, becomes the representative.

Democracy is defined as people ruling themselves by choosing a representative themselves.  So how is the representative chosen?

Come back to Nova’s Rays and find out.


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