Canadian Politics

In Canada we live in a democratic nation, this means that we can elect the political party that we think will serve our best interests. There is an election every four years, if at any time in those four years an issue might arise that needs to be addressed by the citizens, the government can have a plebiscite, referendum or a consensus decision making meeting to get the citizens involved in the decision process. I think that these processes are a great political tool, as the results of these processes are a direct example of public opinion and can not be argued, Canadians should participate in political decisions whenever possible.

A plebiscite is a direct vote by citizens on a specific question, given to them by their government to determine the citizen’s wishes. In Canada there has been many plebiscite’s, one of the most memorable one was regarding the video lottery terminals, the question was should they be removed from bars and pubs. There was forty plebiscite’s conducted across Alberta communities, the results were that the majority of Albertan’s wanted to keep the VLT’s in the bars and pubs, and leave the decision about using them up to the individual. The government does not have to act upon the results of the plebiscite, but in this case they did, and removed the VLT’s from the communities that voted against them. Plebiscites can also be held at the local level of government as well, Calgary voted in a plebiscite to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water in 1989. The vote was a yes and the city implemented fluoride in our drinking water, the issue was revisited in 1998, Calgarians were asked if they still supported fluoride in the drinking water, fifty five percent of the city voted yes. City’s can always revisit an issue, people’s needs and opinions change over time, it is good that government can hold a plebiscite when needed.

A referendum is a special vote in which all eligible citizen’s may vote on an important issue put...