Question 1: Parties and the manner in which they campaign for office reveal much about the nature of a country’s politics. What do Canada’s parties and elections tell one about Canadian politics?
The election process in most of the countries is what defines the politics and democracy in these countries. The way in which these parties conduct their campaigns greatly influence the unity of a nation and how the people will relate after those elections. Among the leading democratic nations is Canada. Canada has become popular for the manner in which it controls its elections as well as the parties that are taking part in the election. The elections in Canada and the political parties that contest in these elections represent the basic connections between the Canadians and their political leaders. The Canadian electoral system is run by a body known as the Elections Canada. This body ensures that the campaigns as well as the elections are conducted in a free and fair democratic atmosphere. It ensures that the Canadian electoral system is run in an impartial manner. Canada has become popular for the manner in which it runs and conducts its campaigns. The restrictions set by Election Canada regarding the total amount of money spent by the participants in the elections make Canada different from other jurisdictions (Brooks ,2009).
Unlike the United States where parties are allowed to have their campaigns in the manner that they prefer and spend as much money as they would wish, Canada is different. Elections Canada always sets a limit for the amount of money that the political parties that are running for the offices are expected to spend in their campaigns. Canada has got four major political parties. The New Democratic Party normally has the highest spending limit followed by the Liberals, the Conservatives and lastly the Greens. The limits that are set by the election body in Canada depend on the number of electors that each party has in running a candidate for a specific post. Each party is able to fund its campaign through either its own savings or from bank financing. This caters for the advertisements, the tours as well as pay for the staff involved.
For the campaigns, Elections Canada sets two types of spending limits. The first is the limit set for the registered parties. These parties have got a restricted total amount of money that they can spend on their campaign activities. These activities include the tours taken by the leaders, money to cater for their national war rooms and also the money that they spend on advertising their candidates nationally on billboards and the media. The second limit set by Elections Canada is the limit on the local candidates. Each local candidate has his or her own limit set apart from that which they have at their individual parties. According to the law, these candidates are only required to spend money to support their individual campaigns. This includes the local signs, the expenses incurred at the local office travelling and advertising on the media locally (Brooks, 2009).
The conduct of the Elections Canada has gone a long way in advocating for democracy in Canada. This has made the Canadian elections among the best in the world in terms of the democracy of their conduct. In addition to the process of the Elections Canada, the manner in which the campaigns are carried out in Canada also leaves a lot to be admired. The voters normally cast their ballots at the polls which are open for twelve hours on the election date that has been set. Those who are in chronic care and cannot access the poll centres are allowed to exercise their democratic right to voting by casting a special poll via the mobile phones. During the campaigns, the debates between the two candidates are televised live for each Canadian to follow. These television and radio stations offer to the political parties’ airtime which may either be free or paid for. These measures taken by the Canadian people as well as the Elections Canada body in the conduct of the elections in Canada greatly show just how much democracy is there in the Canadian elections. By the international standards, the Canadian conduct of campaigns as well as the elections remains one of the best and as a result, the Elections Canada has been in the forefront of advising over 100 countries on how to govern themselves in a democratic manner (Chapnick, 2010).
Question 2: Identify and explain the ideas that have been associated with Native policy in Canada over the last century. What do they tell us about Canadian politics and about similarities and/or differences between Canada and the United States?
Over the last century, the Canadian government had been muffled by native policies that drew lines in the way the citizens were conducted in Canada. The native people in Canada had been mistreated for decades in Canada and made to feel as though they were not part of the country and were supposed to leave and find their own country. This feeling of nit being wanted by the native people was made clear by the attempt by the Canadian government to root out the culture of the Indians as well as the mixed race people and assimilate them. The Canadian government had for a period of forty years taken children from native families and sent them to the commonly known schools that were government abusive. This happened during the colonial period where these inhuman acts were being conducted. The natives in Canada were being driven to reservations and isolated in the unproductive regions of the country. This form of mistreatment resulted in the decline in the population of the natives and thus their languages were outlawed. The traditional ceremonies were also outlawed.
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However, with the new dawn in the Canadian government and the democratic processes, there has been a change in these policies. The government has gone democratic in involving the natives in the business of choosing the leaders to run the country. These aboriginals have also been involved in the running for the top offices in the Canadian government. They have been endorsed by the political parties in Canada and also in the electoral process. This incorporation of the natives in the running of office has gone a long way in advocating for the democratic rights of the citizens in Canada. The oppression that they used to face during the last century has been stopped and thus the people in Canada are being treated as equals in the whole country. As a result, there has been a reduction in the conflicts that were being experienced because of these native policies (Brooks, 2009).
Canada has shown through its democratic processes that it is very different from the United States. The Elections Canada body restriction to the unanimous expenditures during the elections period is different from the way the United States conducts its elections. The United States does not limit its candidates to the amount of money that they can spend in their campaigns. This leaves a lot of room for corruption. Canada on the other hand has gone a long way in showing that it is a democratic state. It has got many political parties unlike the United States which has got only two parties. This leaves the Canadian citizens with an open choice for choosing their leaders from the many that run for the offices. In getting rid of the native policies, the Canadian government has shown its commitment in putting forth a democratic system for its citizens. In doing so, the people can now be united during the electoral process despite the differences in their races and culture.
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