Topic – Political Parties

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Read the Following Selection

Read the following selection, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Political Parties

Did you know not all parties are about cake, ice-cream, and balloons? In Canada, there are political parties made up of groups of people who share the same ideas about how the country should run. That way, voters can choose between different political parties based on their leaders and their “platforms.” The main political parties in Canada are the Liberal Party, Conservative Party, Bloc Québécois, and New Democratic Party.

In Canada, the political party that wins the largest number of seats in an election forms the government. In a federal election, the leader of the winning political party becomes prime minister. In a provincial election, the leader of the winning political party becomes premier. The political party in second place, in both types of elections, becomes the official opposition.

The core of the Canadian government’s parliamentary system is the idea that there are competing political parties. The main goal of a political party is to win elections so that they can put to work their ideas about how to run the government. During election time, political parties develop a program or “platform” that explains their ideas to voters. Political parties also choose a leader whom they hope people would like to represent them.

Choosing a good candidate to represent a political party is very important. To promote a candidate, a political party will do many things. Often, campaign literature and other brochures that give personal information about the candidate are handed out to the public. In addition, local and national newspapers are filled with articles about what candidates think.

Candidates may even participate in interviews and other television appearances. Candidates who want to attract voters often hire media experts to coach them on the way look or how they present themselves. Political parties want to make sure that their candidate seems confident, intelligent, and trustworthy.

Brain Stretch!

Look up the websites of some political parties.

Now, show what you know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.