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How government is elected in Canada

By Leafsfan67 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

When Canadians go to the polls we vote for just our local Member of Parliament or MP.

Across Canada, there are 338 ridings. Ridings are divided by population. Newfoundland and Labrador has a total of seven seats.

There have been 338 MPs since the electoral district redistribution for the 2015 federal election. In that redistribution, 30 seats were added.

The party with the most seats typically forms government but not always. The government can be a minority or a majority.

A minority government means that the other party's combined have more seats than the governing party. A majority government means that the governing party has more seats than all other party's combined.

To form a majority government, a party must win 170 seats.

Our system also allows a coalition of two or more parties to form the government. This has never happened in Canada.

So the party that wins the most seats doesn't necessarily get to form the government. Justin Trudeau is still Prime Minister and he will remain in that role until he either resigns or no longer has the confidence of the House of Commons.


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