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MemberSeptember 19, 2021 at 8:05 am
Perhaps the most fundamental difference between Canadian and American elections is that Canadian federal elections are all run by one, non-partisan federal body, Elections Canada, while in the US, elections are run at the state level. That guarantees that a voter in Nova Scotia has the same system as a voter in Nunavut.
In the US, a person’s voting rights vary widely state by state.
These myriad rules make it easier for partisanship to creep in, says Matthew Lebo, who teaches political science at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, and specialises in American political systems.
“In Canada everything is done by Elections Canada – it’s non-partisan, and they work hard to be non-partisan,” he told the BBC.
“In the states, every state is doing it themselves, they are definitely not non-partisan.”
This is partly how the 2020 US presidential election became so contested, with a handful of Republican state governments fighting to overturn the Democratic presidential victory.
While the focus during a Canadian campaign tends to be on the party leaders and who will be prime minister, under Canada’s system of government, it’s actually 338 separate races, with candidates in each of the country’s federal ridings (constituencies).
Why it can be hard to vote in the US
If the US election were like Canada’s…
Although Elections Canada is run by bureaucrats, and not party officials, some have accused it of playing favourites.