A glossary of political terms: Canada edition – Metro US

A glossary of political terms: Canada edition

Whether you’re new to the country, new to voting, or just an ignouramous (note the Canadian spelling), you may be confused by some of the lingo you’ve been hearing since the “writ” was “dropped” in our “democracy.” If that sounds like you, then here’s a special glossary to bring you meaning as you decide who is the lesser of five evils.


Advance poll: A place where Canadians who are unable to cast ballots on voting day exercise their right to avoid voting in advance.

Traditionally a temporary alliance of political parties used to form a government when no single party can do so. More recently understood to be the worst, most reckless, most despicable action a party can take, short of mailing people flesh-eating disease.

Democracy: A form of government designed to give the maximum number of people in society the impression that what they think matters. In Canada, usually accompanied by a question mark. Google it and see.

Gerrymander: To divide electoral ridings in a way that favours one party over another. For example, if the Conservative government created a riding that included only affluent suburbs, or if Elizabeth May created a riding that included only her house.

Husting: Any place where a candidate meets voters. Originally contained an L.

Independent: A candidate so true to his or her own ideals and personal vision for Canada that he or she has no chance of winning.

Poll: A survey that indicates the voting intentions of people who still have landlines and are so lonely they’re just happy to have someone to talk to, 19 times out of 20.

Pundit: A political commentator who forms opinions by commenting on the opinions of other pundits. The identity of The Original Pundit is a closely guarded secret.

Spin: Lying. In discussions with backroomers it is usually preceded by the phrase, “All spin aside.”

Green Party: The Glossary Consortium has ruled that the Green Party will not get its own definition until it has a seat in the House of Commons.

Bloc Quebecois: A political party that blames the federal government for everything bad and takes credit for everything good, making it the party that most closely resembles the average Canadian.

New Democratic Party:
The political party which will hold the balance of power in the House of Commons for the foreseeable future through the power of fourth-place finishes.

Grits: (slang) Southern corn-based food or the Liberal Party of Canada; traditionally goes with pork.

Conservative Party: [Definition redacted].

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