Before I went to an advanced polling station over the Thanksgiving long weekend and cast my ballot, I took to the Internet to read up on the major parties, their platforms and the issues that will be affected by the results of the 2015 federal election.
Here are five resources I found that helped me make an informed decision before casting my ballot:
This article by The Globe and Mail profiles each of the major parties’ leaders. It aims to shed light on the personalities of “the men whose public images have been so carefully scripted since the campaign began.”
2. Party Platform Comparisons
Perhaps the most helpful tools I discovered were the articles I found comparing each major party’s stance on the issues of the election. Maclean’s election series is the most specific; issues from childcare to Syrian refugees to terrorism to truth and reconciliation are explained in simple, clear terms and broken down by each party’s stance. Both The Globe and Mail and National Post boil their articles down to the major issues such as the environment, public finances and foreign policy and briefly outline the Liberal, Conservative and NDP positions on each topic.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the major party’s platforms on the issues, VoteCompass allows you to determine where you stand on each one. It walks you through topics such as taxes, foreign policy, fiscal policy, childcare, moral issues, law & order, the environment, immigration & multiculturalism, health care, and labour relations. Select your opinion on the questions within each category, and once it’s completed, VoteCompass calculates where you fit in the political landscape and how your beliefs align with each party’s platform. This is a very interactive and useful tool that lays the results out in east-to-read bar- and 3D-graphs.
4. Federal election 2015: Your riding’s candidates and voting history by Global Staff
Since the 2011 federal election, new riding boundaries have been drawn and 30 new electoral districts were added, which means many Canadians may be in a new riding this election. This page allows you to enter your address and find your riding, as well as learn about the candidates, voting history and how it was affected by the riding redistribution.
The Elections Canada website is a one-stop shop for all the logistical information you’ll need before heading to the polls on Monday. Are you registered to vote? What ID do you need to bring with you? All the practical questions you have are answered here.
Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 19.