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Voting in the 2022 Ontario Provincial Election

Feeling overwhelmed by elections content and resources? The SUTE team has compiled a few key resources to get you on your way to becoming an informed voter!


Watch 'Election 101'

Learn about voter registration and what to expect at the polls through our 2019 video 'Election 101', available here:


Register to Vote

If you are an eligible voter, the next thing you want to do is register to vote. Online registration ends May 23rd, but you can also register at the poll. To learn more and to register online, visit:

For more information about whether you are an eligible voter, read this blogpost:


Use the CBC VoteCompass

Still unsure which political party is most aligned with your values? Check out the CBC VoteCompass:


Find Your Local Candidates

Now that you have a general idea of which party you align with, find out who is representing that party in your electoral district. This is the person you will be voting for so be sure to compare their local platform to the other candidates in your electoral district. To find your electoral district and the candidates running, visit: https://voterservices.elections.on.ca/en/election/candidate-search


Continue Learning with SUTE

SUTE has many other elections and politics resources available to support your continuous learning!

For information specific to the upcoming election, visit: https://www.shakeuptheestab.org/learn/categories/voting

For general information about politics, visit: https://www.shakeuptheestab.org/politics


VOTE!!!

In person on June 2nd, 2022, in advance (May 19-28th, 2022), at your local returning office (May 5th-June 1st, 2022), or by mail (due May 27th, 2022), vote in the Ontario election! #NotVotingFckingSucks


What Actually Happens During an Ontario Provincial Election?

General Terminology:

Riding: The voting regions, in which individual representatives are elected, forming the legislature (1).

Governor General: Acts as the representative of the British monarchy in what is currently Canada. What is currently Canada is a constitutional monarchy, and while the Queen plays no real role in our democracy nor our parliament anymore, the Governor General acts as their representative. For this reason, they hold important powers such as officially commencing elections since these orders previously required Britain’s approval (1).

Lieutenant Governor: In lieu of the Governor General, the Queen’s representative in the provinces is the Lieutenant Governor (2). They have similar responsibilities to those of the Governor General and are responsible for dissolving the provincial legislature and launching the electoral process in what is currently Ontario (2).

Chief Electoral Officer: “Responsible for the administration of elections, referendums and other important aspects of our electoral system” (3). They are independent of the government and all political parties and report directly to Parliament (3).

Writs: Formal documents drafted by the Chief Executive Officer and sent to the Election Officers in each riding, indicating that they should start an election (4)

When is an election called?

As stated within the Election Act of what is currently Ontario, a provincial election is scheduled for the first Thursday of June in the fourth year following the polling day of the previous provincial election (5).

Stages of an Election:

1. Pre-Writ Period: The time leading up to the commencement of an election period in which parties start behaving as if the next election is impending (1).

2. Dissolution of Parliament: The Lieutenant Governor dissolves the legislature on the advice of the Premier and directs the Chief Executive Officer to issue the writs (6).

3. Dropping the Writs: The writs are dropped by the Chief Executive Officer, formally telling the election clerks in each riding to hold an election (5).

4. Nomination of Candidates: Political parties choose their candidates for each riding after the writs are dropped (5). Candidates can run as independents without party affiliation (7).

5. Campaigning: The 28-day campaign period consists of candidates working to garner as many votes in their favour as possible (6).

a) Air War: Each party tries to “control the media airwaves”, including TV, radio, and other forms of media advertising (8).

b) Ground War: Candidates are competing for the seat representing their riding, interacting with the voters through door-to-door and phone campaigns, in order to obtain their support (8).

c) Phoney War: Campaigns beginning, platforms are finalized, and leadership candidates are travelling to different ridings in order to connect with voters (7).

d) Debates: Events in which different party leaders or candidates of a given riding are able to explain and defend their positions on different issues (9).

e) Post-Debate Period: Eligible citizens solidify their voting choices as candidates intensify their campaigns to prove why they should be elected and aggressively target opponents to garner the support of undecided voters (7).

6. Voting: Eligible citizens vote for the representative of their choosing to represent their riding in the Legislative Assembly. Voting happens via advance polls, by mail, on election day, or at an Elections Ontario office (10).

7. After the Vote: Votes are counted and validated, the winning candidate is established based on which party wins the most ridings, the election concludes and parliament resumes (8).


Resources:

1. Marland, A., Wesley, J.J. Inside Canadian Politics. What is currently Canada: Oxford University Press; 2016. 413, 414, 416, 420


2. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. The Lieutenant Governor [Internet]. What is currently Canada: Legislative Assembly of Ontario; [cited 2022, May 12]. Available from: https://www.ola.org/en/photo/lieutenant-governor


3. Elections Canada. Appointment of the Chief Electoral Officer [Internet]. Canada: Elections Canada; [updated 2020, May 12 ; cited 2021, April 12]. Available from: https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=abo&dir=ceo/app&document=index&lang=e


4. Elections Canada. FAQs on Elections [Internet]. Canada: Elections Canada; [updated 2021, February 5 ; cited 2021 March 26]. Available from: https://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=vot&dir=faq&document=faqelec&lang=e#a10


5. Election Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.E.6. [Internet]. What is currently Ontario, Canada: Ontario; [updated 2022, March 1 ; cited 2022, May 13]. Available from: https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90e06?search=election+act#BK40


6. Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Electoral Process: Elections in Ontario [Internet]. What is currently Ontario, Canada: Legislative Assembly of Ontario; [cited 2022, May 13]. Available from: https://www.ola.org/en/visit-learn/about-ontarios-parliament/electoral-process-elections-ontario


7. Elections Canada. Elections Step by Step [Internet]. Canada: Elections Canada; 2021 [cited 2021, March 26]. Available from: https://electionsanddemocracy.ca/canadas-elections/canadas-election-process/elections-step-step


8. House of Commons. Parliaments and Ministries: The Confidence Convention [Internet]. Canada: House of Commons; [cited 2021, March 26]. Available from: https://www.ourcommons.ca/marleaumontpetit/DocumentViewer.aspx?Language=E&Sec=Ch02&Seq=3


9. The Canadian Press & Ranger, M. Party leaders square off at first debate of Ontario election campaign [Internet]. What is currently Canada: CityNews; 2022, May 10 [cited 2022, May 13]. Available from: https://toronto.citynews.ca/2022/05/10/ontario-election-first-leaders-debate/


10. Elections Ontario. Ways to Vote [Internet]. What is currently Ontario, Canada: Elections Ontario; [cited 2022, May 13]. Available from: https://www.elections.on.ca/en/voting-in-ontario/how-to-vote.html

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