Canadian Jewish Political Affairs Committee
General Election

General Election

A General Election is actually not one election, but rather many elections running simultaneously in every constituency of whatever level of government is up for election – municipal, provincial or federal. In the case of a federal general election, there are 338 elections being run simultaneously across the country in every single riding. These elections are triggered following the Governor General dissolving a session of Parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister. Once the elections are called, 338 writs, or legal orders from the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada are issued to returning officers in each of Canada’s ridings. The maximum amount of time allotted for these elections is 50 days, while the shortest is 36 days. Candidates from various parties present themselves in each individual riding across the country. The winners are determined based on the plurality of votes in any given riding on election day. The party who elects the most MPs forms the government. They are generally held every 4 years, but not always. The maximum amount of time between elections is 5 years. They can be, and often are, called earlier in cases of minority governments.