What is an electoral district? • An electoral district is a geographical area represented by an elected official, also known as a riding or constituency. • The size of an electoral districtis determined by population and geographical features. • Urban ridings are small and heavily populated, rural ridings are large and sparsely populated.
What is an MPP? • At the provincial level in Ontario, the elected official is called a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP). • MPPs represent the needs and interests of the people living in their electoral district (called constituents) and addresses issues at the local level. • Ontario will be electing 107 MPPs in the next provincial election.
How do we select our MPPs? • Ontario uses a system called First-Past-The-Post (FPTP). • Citizens elect one member per electoral district. • Citizens can only choose one candidate/party on the ballot. • The winning candidate must receive the most number of votes.
How does First-Past-The-Post work? An example of FPTP, in an electoral district with 100 people: VOTE TOTALS BY CANDIDATE Lucy (Banana Party) 40 Josh (Apple Party) 15 Nancy (Pear Party) 11 Norman (No Affiliation) 34 Lucy wins because she has the most votes, even though most voters chose someone else.
How does someone run for election? • A person running for election is called a candidate. • Any person who wants to run in the election must file papers with Elections Ontario by the nomination deadline. • Political parties select candidates to run for their party in electoral districts across the province. • Candidates can also run as an independent or without any relation to a party. • Elections Ontario posts the names of all candidates on their website.
Why are local issues important? • Each electoral districthas unique issues and concerns. • It is important to research the issues and form opinions before you vote. • There are many ways to gather information about your candidates: town hall meetings or candidate debates, radio and television advertising, newspapers and magazines, campaign offices and events, party websites and social media.
Final Thoughts • How should you evaluate candidates? • What characteristics or qualifications do you expect from your MPP? • What local issues are important to you?