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Parliamentary Puzzle Follow that Bill Parliament in Action Canada/USA P.M. Challenge

Do you have what it takes to be Canada’s Prime Minister?

Being the Prime Minister of Canada is a bit like having four jobs; in this role you would serve as the head of government, the leader of your political party, the Cabinet Leader and a Member of Parliament. Do you think you have what it takes to join these few who have been instrumental in shaping Canada’s future? Could you be Canada’s Prime Minister?


Becoming a Candidate

THE SITUATION

You have been a member of a political party for some time now. You have bought a membership, contributed countless hours of your time as a volunteer and have even made financial donations to help support the party. This support has not gone unnoticed; you have been nominated to be the party representative for the electoral district of Yourtown.

THE QUESTION

Do you allow yourself to be nominated or do you politely decline?

YOUR ANSWER

You accept the nomination.
At the party’s nomination meeting you are voted in as the candidate for the electoral district of Yourtown. You will be running as an official candidate in the next federal election.

You decline the nomination.
You do not feel that you have the time, energy or passion to run as candidate at this point in time. Not wanting to accept the nomination unless you are 100% committed to the challenge at hand, you politely decline.
[Path ends]


Running for MP

THE SITUATION

You’re invited to an all-candidates debate, but aren’t sure how many of your competitors will actually attend.

THE QUESTION

Do you attend the debate?

YOUR ANSWER

You attend.
Few other candidates are there, but many members of the local media are there. You give solid answers and your strong performance is highlighted on the front page of the local newspaper. You and your party become more popular as a result of the debate.

You decline the invitation.
All the other candidates attend the debate. Your absence makes some voters think that you are avoiding tough questions.
You and your party become less popular as a result of the debate.


Running for MP

THE SITUATION

Your party suggests that you go door to door to further spread the details and importance of your party’s platform.

THE QUESTION

Do you canvass in your riding by going door to door?

YOUR ANSWER

You go door to door.
As a result your constituents learn about your party’s platform and pick up on your desire to improve the community.
You and your party gain popularity.

You decide that your time is better spent in the office.
People who did not catch the debate are confused about your party’s platform and unsure of your dedication.
Your popularity and that of your party decreases.


Running for MP

THE SITUATION

Your party suggests that you go door to door to get to know your constituents and to counter the bad press from having missed the debate.

THE QUESTION

Do you canvass in your riding by going door to door?

YOUR ANSWER

You go door to door.
As a result your constituents learn about your party’s platform and pick up on your desire to improve the community.
You and your party gain popularity.

You decide that your time is better spent in the office.
Many voters are confused about your party’s platform and unsure of your dedication.
Your popularity and that of your party decreases further.


MP

THE SITUATION

You have won the election and have become the representative for your riding –you are now a Member of Parliament (MP).

Your party wins the election and forms the government.

Because of your commitment and efforts during the campaign, the party leader—now Prime Minister—awards you a Cabinet position.


MP

THE SITUATION

You have won the election and have become the representative for your riding –you are now a Member of Parliament (MP).

However, some of the other members of your party did not get elected. Since your party does not have a majority of the votes you form the Official Opposition.

You serve your constituents well as part of the Official Opposition for four years and gain valuable experience. When it is time for the next election your party’s chances of winning are not clear.

THE QUESTION

Do you run again, or decide that political life is not for you?

YOUR ANSWER

You run again.
You are more determined than ever and your passion is contagious.
Your party wins the election and forms the government.
Because of your commitment and efforts during the campaign, the party leader—now Prime Minister—awards you a Cabinet position.

You choose not to run.
You have had enough of politics and decide to go back to your previous life.
[Path ends]


Running for MP

THE SITUATION

Citizens in your riding do not understand your party platform and you lack popularity. You are not elected in your riding and do not become an MP. You are now faced with a choice:

THE QUESTION

Do you wait for the next election and run again or decide that political life is not for you?

YOUR ANSWER

You run again. You are more determined than ever; this time you participate in debates and go door to door. Your passion is contagious and inspires people to vote for you.

You choose not to run.
You have had enough of politics and decide to go back to your previous life.
[Path ends]


Serving as Cabinet Minister

THE SITUATION

As a Cabinet Minister you must tackle a controversial issue related to your ministry. Your party wants you to handle the issue by making a decision that goes against promises you made during your campaign for election. You can see both sides of the problem, but the Prime Minister insists the party’s solution is the right one.

THE QUESTION

Do you publicly admit that you have a different opinion or do you follow the party line?

YOUR ANSWER

You admit that you disagree.
The Prime Minister is disappointed, but the voters in your riding completely agree with your decision and this increases your popularity.
The support of your constituents increases.

You follow the party line.
The decision stands and some voters are unhappy, but in the long term it proves to be the right decision for Canadians.
The support of your party increases.


Losing your Cabinet post

THE SITUATION

You remain an MP but are demoted from your Cabinet position for refusing to apply the party’s policy.

THE QUESTION

At the next election, do you choose to run again?

YOUR ANSWER

You run again.
Your decision may have cost you your Cabinet position but it has made you more popular with the voters in your riding. You are re-elected by a landslide and your party recognizes your good standing with the public.
You serve another successful term as an MP.

You choose not to run.
You have had enough of politics and decide to go back to your previous life.
[Path Ends]


Standing by the party

THE SITUATION

Because of your courage when it came to making a difficult decision you gain stature within the party and —since the results benefit Canadians— you also recapture public confidence. At the next election, the Prime Minister decides not to run again. Feeling confident, you decide to run for the position of leader of your party. Some members want you to keep the existing policies and some want you to take a new direction.

THE QUESTION

Do you continue the legacy or take a new direction?

YOUR ANSWER

You decide to carry forward with the old leader’s ideas.
Most members agree with the existing policies and decide to vote for you.
You win the party leadership.

You decide to take a new direction.
Most party members are unhappy and vote against you. A few believe a new approach will help during the upcoming election, but you do not have enough support to become the party leader.
You lose the party leadership.


Running for the leadership

THE SITUATION

At the end of your term as MP, the Prime Minister decides not to run again. Feeling confident, you decide to run for the position of leader of your party. Some members want you to keep the existing policies and some want you to take a new direction.

THE QUESTION

Do you continue the legacy or take a new direction?

YOUR ANSWER

You decide to carry forward with the old leader’s ideas.
Some members fight hard for you, but in the end the party decides it’s time for a change.
You lose the leadership.

You decide to take a new direction.
Some members are unhappy at first but the desire for change in the party is strong and a new approach will help during the next election.
You win the leadership.


Deciding on your political future

THE SITUATION

The longer you serve as an MP the more experience you gain. After a few more terms in Parliament you feel it is time to make a decision about the future of your career.

THE QUESTION

Do you try again to become the leader of your party or do you decide to ease out of the political spotlight?

YOUR ANSWER

You convince your party that you can lead them to success in the next election.
Your party supports you and awards you leadership of the party.

You slow down and prepare to retire. You have enjoyed your time as a parliamentarian but decide it is time to ease out of politics and retire so that you can pursue other interests.
[Path Ends]


Running for Prime Minister

THE SITUATION

The election is a difficult one. The public is worried about some key issues. The other parties are making promises that you see as unrealistic, but that voters seem to be responding to them.

THE QUESTION

Do you base your platform on out-doing the other parties or do you focus on making promises you believe in and can deliver on?

YOUR ANSWER

You try to out-do the other parties.
Analysts paint you as a dreamer, out of touch with daily Canadian realities. This ends up costing you several votes.
Your party loses the election but gains enough seats to become the official opposition.

You focus on your promises, not those of the other parties. Not everyone agrees with everything you are proposing, but most people recognize that your party’s overall vision is the best for Canadians.
Your party wins the election with a majority and forms the government.


In the Official Opposition

THE SITUATION

As the Official Opposition you join forces with the other opposition parties and challenge the Government. When it becomes clear that they no longer have the support of the majority in the House of Commons, another election is called.

THE QUESTION

Do you decide to run again?

YOUR ANSWER

You run again.
The public admires the role you played as leader of the opposition and your party gains the majority of the seats in the House of Commons.
You win the election with a sweeping majority and your party forms the government.

You choose to retire.
The public remembers you fondly as a strong politician who stood up for the rights of Canadians. You write a novel about your political experiences and it becomes a top seller. Years later, when your party is back in power, the Governor General, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoints you to the Senate.
[Path Ends]


End of game

CONGRATULATIONS: You are the Prime Minister of Canada!
You serve as Prime Minister for four years; during this time you maintain the support of the House of Commons and are able to make decisions and pass laws that improve the quality of life of Canadians.


Learn More:

Not all Prime Ministers serve for four years before having to call an election. Canada’s shortest serving Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Sir Charles Tupper , held the position for two months and seven days.

The average term for Prime Ministers who have a majority government (having a majority means that the Government holds 170 or more of the 338 seats in the House of Commons) is four years. Minority governments (which are formed when the Government holds fewer than 170 seats), on the other hand, have an average term of one and a half years.

Take a look at these examples of minority governments in Canada and visit the list of Prime Ministers in Canada to compare the length of their terms in office.