Chatterbox #80 – Elections

With some important elections coming up in Canada and the US, it’s the perfect time to talk politics on Culips. In the province of Quebec, where Culips is based, we’ve just had an important election, and there’s also an American election that is currently making news all around the world. In this episode, Harp and Maura talk about voting, how it works in Canada, and their own experiences voting over the years. So listen up if you’re interested in the political process in Canada.


Expressions included in the learning materials

  • A political party
  • A riding
  • Catchy
  • To follow an election
  • To throw out promises
  • An empty promise
  • An attack ad
  • A scrutineer
  • Elections Canada
  • To be none of someone’s business
  • Strategic voting
  • A candidate
  • The Official Opposition
  • Right wing and left wing

Sample transcript:

Maura: So, today we’re going to do a Chatterbox episode. And that is where Harp and I get to chat about all kinds of different topics. Sometimes we talk about things going on in the news, sometimes we interview people, and other times we talk about North American culture.

Harp: Yes. And today we’re gonna talk about voting in elections.

Maura: Right. This is definitely a hot topic.

Harp: Definitely a hot topic in parts of Canada, specifically Quebec right now, and also in the US.

Maura: Right. So first we’re gonna talk about types of elections and then…

Harp: We’re gonna talk about some upcoming elections…

Maura: And then Harp and I are gonna talk about our experiences voting.

Harp: Yes. So let’s get started with the types of elections and voting.

Maura: So what kinds of elections are there?

Harp: In Canada, there are basically three governmental levels that you can vote at.

Maura: OK, that makes sense.

Harp: Well basically, in Canada, you can vote at the federal level. So that’s where you’re voting for the MPs—the Members of Parliament—and the Prime Minister.

Maura: Right. So, depending on who you vote for in your riding, that will affect who becomes the Prime Minister of Canada.

Harp: Yes, because in Canada, we don’t vote directly for the Prime Minister. In Canada, you vote for the person running in your riding. And the party that wins the most seats, that party’s leader becomes the Prime Minister.

Maura: Right. It’s funny you know, because some countries have Prime Ministers, some have Presidents, some have Presidents and Prime Ministers.

Harp: Yes. In Canada, we have the Prime Minister, but the actual head of state is still the Queen.

Maura: It’s surprising. I think even to most Canadians it’s surprising.

Harp: Yep, the Queen of England is the head of state of Canada. And another level you can vote at in Canada is the provincial level.

Maura: Right. So, in Canada we have how many provinces, Harp?

Harp: We have 10 provinces and we have three territories.

Maura: Right. So this is just larger separations of area in Canada.

Harp: Exactly. So in Canada, you can vote federally or provincially.

Podcast/Learning Materials: Culips English Podcast