On June 7, Ontarians will cast their ballots to choose our next government. In order to make sure you have all the knowledge and tools you need to make an informed decision, follow this day-by-day Fuse guide to political participation. Listen to your Day 7 political playlist here for inspiration.

Here is your second week’s rundown:

Day 8 – Understanding the Political Parties

In Ontario there are approximately 21 registered political parties. Some of these parties may have limited platforms and most won’t be running a candidate in all (or even the majority) of ridings.

Due to this we know that although potentially a member of one of these parties could be elected to the provincial Legislature they would not be able to form government. There are four main parties that are running candidates in most, if not all ridings, and could potentially form government after the June 7 Vote.

These parties are (in alphabetical order) Conservative, Green, Liberal and NDP

Day 9 – Get to know the Leaders

So now that you know what the different political parties are about, let’s look at who would be in charge.

The leaders of the four political parties that could potentially win the election on June 7 are (alphabetically) Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath, Mike Schreiner and Kathleen Wynne. Although you won’t get to vote for them directly, we know one of them will be representing Ontario so knowing a bit more about them might have an effect on who you choose to elect in your riding.

Day 10 – Follow them on Social Media

Twitter is a great place to stay up to date on leaders’ schedules, policies and election campaigning. Here are their handles:

@AndreaHorwath @MikeSchreiner   @Kathleen_Wynne  @fordnation

Day 11 – LONG WEEKEND

Ask your friends what matters to them

We’re able to have conversations with friends about whether Kanye is a lyrical genius or an overrated madman, or which Pixies album is the best, so we should be able to have a civil conversation about politics.

Despite a lifelong love of the Leafs, people have managed to remain friends with diehard Habs fans, so a difference of opinion doesn’t mean you can’t still be friends. Even if you disagree on which team you are behind, you probably have some common ground.

Day 12 – Encourage someone else to vote

In the last provincial election only 52 per cent of eligible voters cast their votes.

While this may seem like an abysmally low number it was actually a higher percentage than previous elections. If the person you ask to vote says they aren’t going to, ask them why.

Maybe it’s because they don’t feel like they have enough information to make an informed choice (if so let them know about this handy prep tool), or maybe they struggle to vote due to other commitments. In which case, maybe see if you can help by offering to watch the kids or giving them a ride to the polls so they can exercise their democratic right.

Some people don’t see the correlation between the things they are struggling with and government. For instance, if your friend is constantly talking about hydro rates or how as soon as they get their paycheque it’s already spent, student debt, or the fact that now they were able to go to school due to changes with OSAP – remind them that the provincial government has a hand in making policies that can improve their lives (or make them worse).

Day 13  – Rest Day

It’s a Holiday Monday!

Did you know that there are provincial and federal holidays! That’s right – the province can choose to create more provincial holidays like they did in 2008 when they created Family Day!

You’ve probably been looking forward to this long weekend since the last one! But, we can never have enough. Tweet @londonFuse and the party leaders what you think the next provincial holiday should be #givemeaholiday.

Day 14  -Learn about your riding

In Ontario there are currently 107 ridings, however that number is increasing to 124 in this election. That means the riding you were in last election might have changed. You can find out which riding you will be voting in on June 7 here.

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