Difference Between American and Canadian Elections

Canadian and American Flags

I am originally from Canada but moved to beautiful northern California in 1997. I became a U.S. citizen in 2004 and strongly believe in my right to vote. But the Americans have a very different approach in electing it’s officials into office than the Canadians do.

In Canada’s parliamentary system, voters cast ballots not for federal leaders, but for local candidates vying to become members of Parliament. The party with the most MPs forms a government, with its leader becoming Prime Minister.

The Americans vote directly for the President. Our voting ballots have the names of the Presidential hopefuls and you place your “X” beside the one you want for President.

Both countries have interesting approaches for selecting it’s leadership. I like the Canadian approach for it’s community focus and I think it becomes the parties interest to do well not just in their region, but across the entire country. They have to unify to lead.

But it also makes the entire election process, well, boring.

The Americans promote members of their parties and let them duke it out in front of the American public. This fosters an environment for leaders to emerge and is one of the keys that makes American politics more engaging and interesting.

I suppose this has a “building a business” approach analogy:

Canadians would build a company by finding lots of smart people with key disciplines and talent. Hopefully, leadership evolves. The Americans select their CEO first and let him build the company and hire the smart talent around him.

About the author

Terry Blanchard

I'm the Vice President of Engineering at Readdle, ex-Apple, design evangelist, drummer, and gadget junkie extraordinaire.

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