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Heritage Community FoundationAlberta's Political History - The Making of a Province
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Alberta's Election History

"First Past the Post" System

In Canadian elections, both federal and provincial, winners are chosen through the plurality, or "first past the post" system.  In other words, the candidate winning the most votes in a constituency is the winner, even if he or she received less than 50 percent of the total number of votes cast.  Another voting system used by some democracies is proportional representation, in which parties win seats according to the total votes cast in their favour.  One country using this system is Israel.

At one time there was a belief that property owners were more committed to their community and cared more about the kind of government they elected, so only men who owned property could vote.  Women's right to vote was recognized in Alberta in 1916, but they were not the last adult Albertans to be given the vote.  Natives' right to vote in Alberta's provincial elections was finally recognized in 1965.

Curious about how federal elections work in Canada?  Click here to visit the Elections Canada website!

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