Lesson 4: Democratic and Equality Charter Rights


Activity 1: Democratic Rights

Assess the participation and responses of the students during this activity.

Answer Key: Handout 1: Democratic Rights

Rank Country Name How did you decide?
1 Most democratic Polarania Female participation, universal suffrage, fair and free elections, voter turnout and confidence are all strong.
2 North Dominiona Strong in fair and free system, trust and universal suffrage. Concerns in voter turnout.
3 Nanistan Political parties and regular elections. Reservation of female seats enhances or detracts. Weakness in role of military and violence.
4 Hengary Universal suffrage and perception of fair elections. Weaknesses in corruption and electoral irregularities.
5 Jarrar Political parties and regular elections. High participation of women in education and work force. Weaknesses in control of electoral process by theocratic religious leaders, lack of free press and lack of full participation by women in government.
6 Tarvu Citizens enjoy some economic and social freedoms. Considerable weaknesses in being a single party state which limits freedom of speech and press.
7 Least democratic Sulisia Single party totalitarian state with no elections, high degree of censorship and harsh penalties for dissent.

Activity 2: Elections

You can use Handout 3: What Do I Know About Local Government Elections? for marks as well as Handout 6: Federal Elections Word Search. If you hold a model local election use Handout 8: Model Election Marking Rubric. Have students in each group assess their own performance and group members using the same rubric.

Answer Key: Handout 3: What Do I Know About Local Government Elections?

  1. How often are local elections held in BC?
    c. Elections are held every three years, on the third Saturday in November.
  2. When will the next election be?
    There will be an election on Saturday, November 19, 2011 and every three years after that.
  3. Who do we elect in a local election?
    c. Generally we elect a mayor and between four and ten councillors, depending on the size of municipality. School trustees are also elected, as are elected positions on regional districts and similar bodies. Vancouver is the only municipality in Canada with elected parks commissioners.
  4. How old do you have to be to vote in a local election?
    a. 18 (same for federal and provincial elections in BC).
  5. Is anyone allowed to vote in a local election even if he or she does not live in that jurisdiction? (Is it ever possible for a person who does not live in Coquitlam to vote in a Coquitlam election?) Explain your answer.
    Someone who lives in one place and owns property in another place is entitled to vote in both places.
  6. What is a by-election?
    A special election which is called to fill a vacancy in between elections.
  7. Can a wealthy person choose to spend $25,000 funding his or her own campaign to become mayor? Is this allowed?
    Yes, in a local election.
  8. Give three examples of individuals who would not be allowed to run in an election:
    Under 18, not a citizen, has lived in BC less than six months, employee of municipality, in prison, disqualified for breaking election rules as a previous candidate, Provincial Court, Supreme Court or Court of Appeal judge.

Answer Key: Handout 6: Federal Elections Word Search

  1. Another word for an electoral district. Riding
  2. There are 308 electoral districts in Canada.
  3. The form of electoral system use in Canada. First Past the Post
  4. The second step in the election process is termed “dropping the Writ.
  5. These boundaries are based on population and geography. Constituencies
  6. An alternative voting system; common to European countries. Proportional Representation
  7. The act of selecting a candidate on the ballot. Voting
  8. The agency in charge of federal elections. Elections Canada
  9. All persons eligible to vote are collectively known by this term. Electorate
  10. You can only vote in a federal election if you are a Canadian Citizen.
  11. The process of registering voters. Enumeration
  12. These are used to read the ‘mood’ of voters. Polling
  13. A blended form of voting. It was suggested for BC in the last two elections. STV (Single Transferable Vote)
  1. The members of a riding are also known as Constituents.
  2. The local workplace of a Member of Parliament is called the Electoral District office.
  3. The process of counting votes after the polling stations have closed. Tabulation
  4. An election must be held once in every five years except in times of emergency or war.
  5. This term describes the closing of Parliament in order to call an election. Dissolution
  6. Changing or redefining electoral boundaries is called Redistribution.
  7. All elected candidates will serve in Parliament.
  8. The person that oversees all aspects of the federal election process. Chief Electoral Officer
  1. Candidates in an election have limits placed on contributions and expenses.
  2. Each local candidate is nominated by the members of the party.
  3. Voters go to a Polling station on the day of an election to fill in a ballot.
  4. The Governor General at the request of the Prime Minister announces the call for an election.
  5. Polling stations must be open for a minimum of 12 consecutive hours on an election day.
  6. In 2002 these Canadians received the right to vote in federal elections. Prisoners
  7. The law that covers all elements of the federal election process and procedures. Canada Elections Act
  1. If you cannot vote on the day of an election there are Advance Polls for three days prior to submit a ballot.
  2. Polling is frequently set up at local churches or Schools.

Activity 3: Right and Responsibility to Vote

Use Handout 9: Debate Evaluation Quick Chart, to evaluate your students’ debate performances considering degree of activity in debate, quality of arguments made, clarity of speaking style and respectfulness of other students. Have the students hand in their paragraphs next class. Evaluate the paragraphs based on quality of topic sentence, use of appropriate support arguments for position taken and quality of writing. Let the students know what criteria you are using.