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Canadian Government

Imagine that the Governor General has called an election and the future of Canada is at stake. This is a perfect opportunity to take matters into your own hands and start your own political party. Where do you start? You have lofty goals to guide debate in Parliament, engage with Canada's constitutional legacy, and develop new policies and laws. Let the election race begin!

Use Further Research and Canadian Documents to help you with the activities below.


Activity 1: Have a Party!

Compose Your Thoughts

Speech of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806) at the official conclusion of the Provincial Parliament of Upper Canada, 1796

Speech of Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806) at the official conclusion of the Provincial Parliament of Upper Canada, 1796
Source ]

A political speech uses specialized political language. How is political language used to provoke a particular response?

In a democracy, political positions are often symbolically arranged on the "left," "right," or "centre." What does this mean? What political parties or world leaders would fall under each category?

Your challenge: In groups of four to five students, you will design a political party representing one of the three political positions above. You must reflect this position in all of your party platforms, speeches, and policies. To begin, decide on the following:

  • Your party name
  • Your party slogan
  • The ideology you will represent

Activity 2: Polling Canadians

Compose Your Thoughts

Proposed content of a bill that would unite the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada, ca. 1821

Proposed content of a bill that would unite the legislatures of Upper and Lower Canada, ca. 1821
Source ]

Government documents use specialized political language. How are constitutions and other official documents used to govern diverse people?

An important aspect of each political party is to develop goals for governing. These goals respond to the concerns and priorities of a wide range of citizens. Your task is to poll Canadians on what they think are important issues that should be addressed. This will give you an idea of which topics to put at the forefront of your political campaign.

  1. Brainstorm a list of issues facing Canadians today (such as security, national identity, human rights, and taxes). Look for ideas of the kinds of issues a government must address. Refer to Further Research and Canadian Documents to help your search.
  2. Choose 10 issues and poll a sample of the Canadian population (10 to 20 of your schoolmates), and ask them to rank the issues on your list from 1 to 10 in order of importance.
  3. Using your poll results, choose four key issues to feature in your party's platform. Describe what your goals are in relation to each issue. Remember, the way you describe your goals must reflect the political position of left, right, or centre.
Composite photograph of members of the Saskatchewan Legislature, 1906

Members of the Saskatchewan Legislature, 1906 Source ]

Explore The Canadian State Political Library, a digital collection of historical books related to Canadian politics and government.