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We answer your election questions.

Let’s try and answer some of the most common questions about voting.

  • What is registering all about?

    To vote, you need to be registered. It is almost as simple as signing up for a new Instagram account. First, check and see if you are already registered here. You literally just need your name, your birthday, and your address, and it will let you know whether or not you are registered to vote.
  • I am registered!

    Great! Now go vote on or before October 21st!

  • I am not registered! What do I do?

    Just register! You can click this link to do so. It will start by asking you for your driver's license number - if you don't have one, you can take a look here for other acceptable forms of ID. There are literally so many options!
  • I am too lazy to register in advance.

    Honestly — no judgment from us. The only thing that matters is that you vote. You can actually register the day of the election by taking your ID with you to your polling station. More information on that here.
  • I don’t know what riding I live in.

    Don't worry — throw your postal code in here.
  • But I live away from home for school  what address should I put in?

    It's honestly your call! Use the one you consider home. It might make it easier to make sure you register before the day you decide to vote. Many campuses are a part of the Vote on Campus Program. These stations will be Elections Canada offices and open for 4 days. Check and see if your campus will have a Vote on Campus location. Voting at these locations is down by special ballot which allows voters outside of their home riding to vote in the election of that riding. If your campus isn’t a part of the Vote on Campus program and is just running a regular voting poll, you can still vote by special ballot at the office of any returning officer. More on that here. Make sure to take your IDs to the polls.
  • When can I vote?

    With advanced polling days now passed, you'll be voting on Election Day, October 21st!
  • But I work election day!

    No worries — your employer is legally obligated to give you three consecutive hours to vote. Let’s say voting at your polling station is only available from 9am to 9pm and you work from 11am to 7pm - your employer HAS TO either delay your shift by an hour or let you leave an hour early if you ask so that you can have three consecutive hours during the voting period to go vote.
  • How do elections work?

    Elections 101

    OK so bear with us on this one. Canada has 338 ridings. 

    A riding? It is a region. All the people in this region vote for one person to represent them in the House of Commons. The person they vote for becomes their Member of Parliament (MP). Canada has 338 ridings, which means there are 338 representatives (MPs) in the House of Commons. 

    When we go and vote, we don't actually vote for the leaders of the political parties (although that is what it can feel like sometimes). We vote for the candidate in our riding that we find is most aligned with our values. 

    Important Note: MPs are not our delegates, they are our representatives. What’s the difference? A delegate is supposed to do what the people they represent want. A representative is supposed to act in what they think is the best interest of the people they represent.

    So who forms government?

    Canada has a first past the post system. That means that the candidate who receives the most votes in a riding wins. They don’t need to win a majority, they just need to do better than the other candidates. Then, the party with the most seats wins the elections. If they win a majority of the seats (170 ridings), they become a majority government. If they win less than 170 seats, they’re a minority government. This means that they may not have enough people on their team to get a majority in parliament to pass through bills/laws. This requires them to work with other parties to get bills and laws passed through.

    But what can the government do for mental health?

    This is another ‘bear with us’ moment. Canadian health care responsibilities are shared between provincial/territorial governments and the federal government. The federal government (in essence) guarantees that the standards set in the Canada Health Act are being met by provinces. The federal government also guarantees health care to certain groups, the largest being Indigenous peoples in Canada. They also provide a lot of funding. The provinces are the ones that have more control in the specifics of how they run their health care systems.

    But why is mental health a federal issue? Because the federal government has a lot of influence and power to advocate for certain norms. The Minister of Health is in a position where they can work closely with their provincial counterparts to increase access to mental health services and resources.

    Finally — mental health is not an issue that exists in a vacuum. The federal government can make a lot of decisions on issues that are related to or affect mental health. Some of the top issues we heard that were important to young voters were the cost of living and the environment. Think about what a government that wants to address climate change could do to help people who suffer from eco-anxiety. What about a government whose platform on the economy focuses on doing the things that you feel will make your life more affordable? These are things that directly impact our mental health.