Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some Canadian Gov't History Trivia

Because election fever was big this year, I planned to study Canadian government with the children. We worked through the book Who Runs this Country, Anyway? and now we are reading Canada Votes by Linda Granfield. It is another one that is written in a fun easy to read manner. Unlike Who Runs..., Canada Votes covers strictly the voting process. This would include who can vote, how candidates are chosen, when you can vote, where you can vote, as well as lots of voting history. It's an interesting read.

Did you know that 150 years ago when you voted (men only back then) you voted out loud? This of course provided ample opportunity for bullying and the buying of votes. Free beer anyone? In 1874 however, that changed and the secret ballot became law.

The secret ballot is also called the Australian Ballot because the Australians were the first to use it in 1858.

Ballot is from an Italian word 'ballotta' meaning a round bullet. In Venice, Italy in the 1500's, Italian voters dropped a bullet-like ball into a box or urn with their candidates name marked on it.

Today all ballots are watermarked, numbered, and kept under tight security before and after election day.

Well ,there you have it. You just might win the game in Trivial Pursuit Canadian Edition with my incredible facts.

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