The Canadian election was this week and we now have a Liberal minority government under Justin Trudeau. If you have been keeping up with the election you may have heard some new vocabulary. What is the blue wave in Western Canada? What’s Wexit? How did the Liberals win the election but lose the popular vote? I’ll be answering all these questions and more in this episode.
Audio begins at 02:57
And although the Liberals are forming the government, they lost the popular vote. So the popular vote means the total number of votes. So it was actually the Conservatives that won the popular vote. They won 6,115,424 votes. Take a minute and see if you can write that down. I’ll do it again. Sometimes these big numbers can be challenging, so let’s do it again 6,115,424 votes. And then the Liberals won less. They won 5,868,109 votes. So this equated to 34.4% of the popular vote for the Conservatives and 33% for the Liberals.
This is because Canada has a first past the post system. This means that in each riding, the candidate with the most votes gets a seat in parliament, even if they don’t win the majority. So even if a candidate only gets 40% of the votes as long as it’s the most, they head to Ottawa with a seat in parliament.
So what is the problem with this? Well, it means that two people that are running in different ridings, these are the electoral districts, they can each earn the same percentage of the vote, but one will win and the other one won’t. And this system of first past the post also encourages what people call tactical voting or strategic voting. So this is when someone will cast a ballot, not for the person that they actually support or want to win, but for the candidate who is best positioned to defeat the candidate that you most dislike.
Get your transcripts!
- Make sure you understand every word you hear on The Can Learn English Podcast
- Take your English to an advanced level with natural English expressions and vocabulary
- Get the transcripts delivered straight to you by email
- Join now to get instant access to transcripts from ALL episodes.