Federal & Provincial Elections
- In Canada governments are chosen by elections.
- Elections are held every 4 years.
- All Canadian citizens over 18 can vote and can freely choose who to vote for.
In Canada people choose their governments by voting in elections. Individuals are free to choose who they will vote for. Voting is done by secret ballot – voters can choose to keep their elections choices private if they like. Everyone’s vote is equal. People are free to get involved in the election process.
There is a government for Saskatchewan and a government for all of Canada. Each has their own responsibilities. We elect a Premier and Members of the Legislative Assembly for Saskatchewan. For Canada as a whole, we elect a Prime Minister and Members of Parliament.
For provincial elections, Saskatchewan is divided into areas. Canada is also divided into areas for federal elections. People run for election in their area. Political parties decide who they want to run for their party. They do this at meetings of their party. People can also choose to run for election on their own.
On Election Day people vote for the person they want to represent their area. The person that gets the most votes becomes the Member of the Legislature for that area (provincial elections) or the Member of Parliament for that area (federal elections).
The party that elects the most people forms the government. The leader of that party becomes the Premier in the case of a provincial election or, in the case of a federal election, the Prime Minister.
When are Elections Held?
Elections are held at least every 4 years. An election can be held early if, for example, the government loses an important vote. Governments must have the support of most of the elected candidates to continue to govern.
Who can run for Election?
To run for election a person must:
- be a Canadian citizen
- be at least 18
- have nomination papers signed
In a provincial election the person must have also lived in Saskatchewan for at least 6 months before the start of the election. Most people who run for election are chosen by a political party to represent that party. However, anyone can run as an independent.
Who can vote in an Election?
To vote you must be:
- a Canadian citizen
- at least 18
In a provincial election you must also have lived in Saskatchewan for at least 6 months before the election was called. Anyone who meets these criteria is free to vote.