“Every election is determined by the people who show up.”
– Larry J. Sabato
Did you know …
Canada has been a democracy since Confederation in 1867. Who has been allowed to participate in this democracy has evolved since that time.
At the time of Confederation, eligibility to vote was restricted on a number of issues. Voters had to be male and own property of a certain value. Some non-property owners were also permitted to vote, depending on the amount of rent they paid monthly or annually, but the amounts were high enough that they excluded many. The property-based qualifications for voting were gradually removed beginning around 1900, but was not completely removed until 1948.
For more than 50 years after Confederation, women in Canada were not permitted to vote. That changed for federal elections (and provincial elections in Nova Scotia) in 1918. The provincial laws giving women the right to vote in provincial elections were also introduced around this time, including Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan in 1916, BC and Ontario in 1917, and Nova Scotia in 1918. Quebec was last province to allow women to vote in 1940.
Why vote …
- Voting is the most important way to make your voice heard on the issues that concern you.
- Voting gives you an opportunity to be part of decision-making that affects your life.
- If YOU don’t vote others will make the decisions for YOU!
- Decisions are made on your behalf every day on matters surrounding healthcare, education, and housing, as well as on global issues like defence and environment and local issues such as bins and leisure facilities.
Here are a few helpful reminders as you get ready to cast your ballot.
- Vote if you are a Canadian citizen and at least 18 years old on election day.
- Bring ID with you to prove your identity and address.
- Be patient and respectful. The voting process may take time.
- Ask Elections Canada workers on site or visit elections.ca to answer any of your questions.
- Film or take pictures inside the voting place.
- Show, film or take a picture of a marked ballot.
- Vote more than once. An eligible voter is entitled to one vote.
Go out and vote. It is your democratic right. Take advantage of it.