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Canadian Expats Given Right to Vote in Canadian Federal Elections

Posted: 05/6/2014 6:08 pm


After having lost the right to vote when living abroad for over five years, expat Canadians are now able to vote in federal elections, reports the Toronto Star.

In striking down the law, Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Penny ruled the section of the Canada Election Act that barred long-time expatriates from voting as “unconstitutional”. Penny wrote in his decision that “This is not the lawmakers’ decision to make — the Charter makes this decision for us,” and noted that citizenship is the fundamental requirement for voting, not residency.

Finally—a reason to care about Canada that isn’t related to hockey. But with the next federal election tentatively slated for October 19, 2015, how familiar are you with the current political climate of Canada?

Currently, the Conservatives enjoy a majority government with Stephen Harper as PM after several failed minority governments, but they and the New Democratic Party have slipped in the polls as the Liberals have gained popularity.

So as a brief re-introduction to Canadian politics, here is the very least you should know about the leaders of the top federal parties in Canada as told from another expat who knows nothing about Canadian politics:

stephen harper

Stephen Harper,
leader of the Federal Conservative Party, current Prime Minister of Canada:
His French has likely improved. it couldn’t have gotten any worse.

thomas mulcair

Thomas Mulcair,
leader of the federal New Democratic Party:
He’s not Jack Layton.

justin trudeau

Justin Trudeau (on the right),
leader of the federal Liberal Party:
Son of Pierre, he’s likely the only chance Canada has at having a Prime Minister who can date a movie star. An American movie star.

The Bloc Quebecois is currently without leader, and the Green Party is, well, the Green Party.

Now that you’re up to date, political conservatives can continue to be upset at voters like us from overseas. Olivia Chow had previously fanned controversy after appealing to voters in Hong Kong eligible to vote in the Toronto municipal election to help her defeat the “shame” that is Rob Ford.

Be sure to vote.

Photo: adrianbribassi, Breaking News,  HuffPo, Winnepig Free Press

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