CBC News Federal Election
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Daily Answer

 May 2004  
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 June 2004  
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Answer reference shelf

Week One
May 25: Are there any Canadian citizens who are not entitled to vote in a federal election?
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May 26: Why don't we have even distribution of constituencies? Within 100 or so voters, why aren't all MPs representing the same number of Canadians?
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May 27: How do the CBC and other media outlets get poll results so quickly on election night?
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May 28: Can an election be postponed, once it has been called?
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May 29: Is it true that voters can go to the polling station and refuse their ballot as an official protest against the electoral system or the choices before them? How would a refused ballot be recorded?
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Week Two
May 30: In the event of an equality of votes, how is the tie broken?
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May 31: If a federal party wins a majority in a general election, but its leader does not win his or her seat, does the leader still become prime minister? Must he or she sit in the gallery of the House of Commons? Has this ever happened?
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June 1:

My friend is a Canadian citizen who lives overseas in Scotland, where her husband works for a multinational company. As it happens, she will be in Canada on vacation on June 28. Can she vote?
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June 2: What would happen if the Prime Minister died during an election, or one of the leaders of the other parties? Has this ever happened?
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June 3: As I understand it, both provincially and federally the life of a government ends after five years in office. Has there ever been a case of a government remaining in power without an election beyond its five-year mandate?
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June 4: Is it true that to run for a seat in the Liberal Party you must have a law degree? All current members seem to have one. Even new candidates like Ken Dryden, a former hockey player, have a law degree.
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June 5: The number of seats in the House of Commons has been growing over successive elections and now stands at 308. How many seats can Parliament physically hold, and what happens when the maximum is reached?
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Week Three
June 6: On the Federal Representation 2004 website, it says that the new riding boundaries will not come into effect until one year after August 25, 2003. Why are we using the new electoral boundaries in this election, then?
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June 7: How much is the incumbent government restricted to spending on ad campaigns and how much for the opposition parties?
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June 8: I posted a sign on my front porch to support my candidate, but my landlord removed it. He said that because I rent and don't own, I don't have the right to post a sign on the outside of the building, though I could put one in a window. Is he correct?
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June 9: How does a person become a senator?
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June 10: If the ruling party comes in second in an election in which no party has a majority, can that party continue as the government?
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June 11: If I move during this election campaign from one federal riding to another (from one province to another), is my ability to vote in the new riding contingent on the amount of time I plan to live there? What are the rules around that scenario to ensure I get to cast a ballot for either riding? And what is expected of me, after my move, to ensure I can vote?
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June 12: I heard that for this election, parties will receive a dollar amount per vote. Is this true? If so, why has it not been more widely publicized?
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Week Four
June 13: Exactly when are the ballots of Canadian Forces electors counted and the results added to the specific riding's total?
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June 14: Is there a set amount of time between the election call date and the day of the vote?
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June 15: Because we vote by secret ballot, and because a voter's age is not entered on the voters list, how do the statisticians determine the percentage of voters in any given age group who have voted?
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June 16: What could we do differently in Canada to get more MPs who are minorities and women? Is any other country doing better at this, and if so, what makes the difference?
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June 17: Is there a minimum number or percentage of voters required to make an election valid?
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June 18: Citizens in jail have the right to vote, but do they vote in the riding where they are held? Wouldn't that result in a large imbalance for a city like Kingston?
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June 19: In past elections, I have cast my vote in Tulameen at the community centre. This election I have to travel to the Legion in Princeton to cast my vote, about a 45-minute drive further. This is very inconvenient and I would like to know why?
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Week Five
June 20: I'm 14 years old and have a huge interest in Canadian politics. I was watching CBC's The National on Day 2 or 3 of the election when the registered political parties were listed in a report. I don't understand why the Christian Heritage Party, Libertarian Party of Canada and Progressive Canadian Party were not listed as registered parties. When I visited electionscanada.ca later, these three parties were listed. I understand that there are rules and regulations that a party needs to follow to be registered as an official party. Can you please explain them to me?
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June 21: How much will this election cost and is it more because of the extended voting hours?
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June 22: Can you please explain what a judicial recount is? What is the procedure? Does it mean that a judge presides over the recount? Where does it take place – in a courtroom?
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June 23: Do all MPs have to swear allegiance? If so, to whom? If not, why not, and if one refuses, what if anything are the consequences?
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June 24: I have been reading about the problems that some areas in the U.S. are having with electronic voting machines. Does anyplace in Canada use these new machines, or are there any plans to do so?
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June 25: How many polling stations does Elections Canada establish, on average, in the process of holding a general election?
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June 26: If I have a power of attorney for a relative, can I vote on his or her behalf?
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June 27: Why does the CBC give so much airtime to the NDP (i.e., how many times do we have to see Olivia Chow)? Why doesn't the CBC provide equal time to political parties and not give more attention to the NDP?
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June 28: How many pencils does Elections Canada go through for each election? As well, how many do voters walk away with, rather than leave them for the next person to use?
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