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Political Science Research Guide: Federal Election 2011

Provides and introduction to key resources used when looking for research materials in the field of Political Science

Current Electoral News from CBC

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Election News Sites

You can consult a number of News sites devoted to the 2011 Election:

Comedic Commentary on the 2011 Election

You can always count on comedians to weigh in about news events.

Among them is Rick Mercer's Rant about the Election  and  Stephen Colbert's report about the Fall of the Conservative Government and the upcoming election in Canada. (about  a minute or so into the video.)

Somehow, the election would not be complete without their perspectives!

Aggregate Polling Data for 2011 Election

Wikipedia has a site that is aggregating the data from various polling firms.  To fact check the data, you can also view any one of the polling companies listed in this libguide.

Timeline of Federal Election News Stories

Want to track how news stories have unfolded during this election. Look at this Timeline created using Dipity.

Arrow over a specific event and you should find stories related to the event with links to the story.

Learn Which Party's Policies are Closest to Yours via Vote Compass

CBC recently created the CBC Vote Compass.  It consists of a questionaire and once you fill it out (it takes ten minutes) you are told which party is closest to you in terms of the policies you support. You can even chose which policies are more or lesss important to you.

Upon completion, your voting preference is laid out on a graph along with different political parties.  If you click on each party, you can learn what policies they are for and against and how it compares to your preferences.

Finally, do not forget to vote on May 2nd. Making your preference known is you opportunity to affect government.

Election Fact Checking

If you want to learn whether claims or true or false, the best thing to do is to read multiple articles on an issue as they will  take into account different perspectives.  Another way to learn about true or false claims to use a third party Fact Check site (not one run by any political party). 

Each media outlet has vowed to check the accuracy of claims on a day to day basis and report on them in the news.  CBC apparently has a site where facts are checked and posted.  To use it visit their Reality Check site.

Follow Reaction to Campaign Promises on PoliTwitter provides one easy location keep track of what your politicians are saying on social media and what regular Canadians have to say about current politics.  It not only tracks MPs & Canadian politics on Twitter but also Facebook, Youtube, flickr, blogs and hansard from parliament.

This non-partisan service strives to connect elected MPs & MLAs with the Canadian people. It also provides provides stats about which campaign issues are being discussed the most. 

Vote Swap

Tired of being told your vote does not matter?  That your riding always elects Party X?  Try vote swapping and arrange to vote strategically.

Vote Pair is one of many Vote Swapping sites.  Learn how it or others work.

Other Electoral Information

You can get additional information about the election a number of ways.

1. Read news reports on a daily basis. Remember to check more than one news report on each issue to ensure objectivity!

2. To learn how a party is doing, check out any number of Canadian Polling Sites.

3. To learn more about each party, visit Political Party Sites set up by Elections Canada  (did you know the Rhinocerous Party is still around!)  and read their policy documents.

4. To learn about how to register, where to vote, etc, check out the information provided about Voting by Elections Canada

Rick Mercer Rant: Vote

Rick's Voting advice to Students


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Student Vote

Student Vote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that aims to build the capacity and commitment of young Canadians to participate in their democracy.

Student Vote’s flagship program is a parallel election for students under the voting age, coinciding with official election periods. The program combines in-class learning, family dialogue, media consumption and an authentic voting experience. The purpose is to provide young Canadians with an opportunity to experience the democratic process firsthand and practice the habits of informed and engaged citizenship.

Student Vote is a great resource for those who are eager to encourage the youth vote in Canada.

Register to Vote

In case this is your first time and you are curious about how to register to vote, Elections Canada has a site with information about Registration, Mail in Ballots, etc. Elections Canada also has a Voter Information Service that talks about Electoral Ridings (your district), Registration, Identification and information (FAQ) for Electors (i.e. voters).

Keep in Mind

"Democracy is the Worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

Winston Churchill

Democracy can be messy but one thing still holds true:  if you do not like who is in power you at least have the ability to vote someone out of office next election. 

The Right to Vote is a privaledge we often take for granted.  It should be exercised by every citizen because those we elect inevitably make decisions that impact us all.

So register to vote. Democracy may require time, but it is better than all the other alternatives.