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Liberal Opinion: How Canadian polling system is different from that of India?

India and Canada have a unique relationship. Both believe in democracy and governments are run by elected representatives of the people. There are different political parties which participate in the electoral system in their own way.

Every citizen has a vote which he freely and freely uses to elect the government of his choice. The purpose of the election is to select the right candidate. All citizens over the age of 18 have the right to vote. The voting in Canada is very peaceful, very little noise is heard. The police and other security agencies have no role to play. There is no special election duty for government employees. Voting takes place even from the comforts of your own home.

To vote at a polling station, you have to go your earmarked booth. All you need is a photo ID with your address on it. The rest of the information from the letter, such as the vote number, the vote center, and the information at the time of casting the vote, comes by mail a few days in advance. At the polling station, you will be given a ballot paper in a folder. After you vote, you hand the folder back to the voting officer, who puts the votes locked in the folder in front of you on the computer. The vote goes into the computer and the folder comes out. After you’ve voted, you’ll see a message on the screen that your vote has been cast. The counting of votes is done after the expiry of the deadline and the results are announced within a few hours after receiving information from all the polling stations. No hue and cry is raised and results are announced. The system is fair and transparent. Counting of votes will be repeated. There is no holiday on the day of polling, but on seeking permission , you get off for a few hours to cast your vote. The system works without a problem.

The major issue facing Elections Canada, Elections Ontario or Elections Toronto is the waning interest of the voter. Poll percentage has been showing downside for a long time. In the recent Municipal or provincial elections, it did not even touch 50 per cent in many of the cases. Same is the story of federal or Parliament elections. Various NGOs and even government agencies are working on to get voters back to the polling station. How successful are their efforts, only time will tell. India, too, has been witnessing voters dimnishibg interest in the process.

(Prabhjot Singh is a veteran journalist with over three decades of experience of 14 years with Reuters News and 30 years with The Tribune Group, covering a wide spectrum of subjects and stories. He has covered Punjab and Sikh affairs for more than three decades besides covering seven Olympics and several major sporting events and hosting TV shows.)

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