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Election Process

Province House is the seat of the Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island

The Election Act (Prince Edward Island) is the authoritative source and the constant reference point behind the execution of key events in the election process. This document is the primary resource for all election related events and regulations.

The election process is made up of numerous things: regulations, election forms, procedures, financing and legislation. Elections are also very human events – election officials, registered political parties, candidates, election workers, the media and the voting public are all integral to the election process.

Elections and the election process are a vital aspect of political democracy. From the organization of constituencies to the election of MLAs – all of these things contribute to our democracy.

"First Past the Post"

Like the other provinces and territories in Canada, Prince Edward Island has what is called a “first past the post” type of electoral system. This system means that candidates run against each other within a geographic boundary called a district. Prince Edward Island is divided into 27 electoral districts. In each district candidates vie for election and the candidate with the most votes becomes elected.

In many instances more than two (2) candidates run. This means that a candidate who is elected may not have won 50% of the vote. The candidate with the most votes wins. In the province as a whole, the party with the most candidates elected forms the government.

This system means that it is possible for parties to form a government even if they did not have majority support. It is possible for a party to win more districts but have garnered less aggregate voter support.

The Legislative Branch of Government

Elected candidates make up the legislative branch of government and sit as members of the Legislative Assembly. The legislative branch is responsible for passing laws for areas under provincial jurisdiction and approving the spending and revenue proposals of government. In addition, the Legislative Assembly is responsible for holding the premier and cabinet accountable for their management of public affairs and debating important issues of public concern.

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