Québec's electoral system is referred to as “representative,” meaning that it is the people who are elected during a general election or by-election who are responsible for making decisions and enacting laws on our behalf. In other words, we influence the election of the person in charge of representing us by exercising our voting rights.
Our province is divided into 125 electoral divisions that make up the electoral map of Québec. An electoral division is a geographic region that is home to approximately 48,100 voters. The number of electoral divisions corresponds to the number of seats in the National Assembly. Through provincial general elections, we elect the 125 Members of the National Assembly (MNAs) who will sit in the Chamber. MNAs can represent a political party or sit as independents. The National Assembly is the place where they fulfil their role of enacting legislation and debating issues of public interest.
In 2013, the Québec government adopted a law setting a fixed date for provincial general elections, which are now held on the first Monday of October every four years. However, the Premier may call an election by asking the Lieutenant-Governor to end the MNAs' terms of office before the end of the four-year period.
The Chief Electoral Officer, a neutral and impartial person, is empowered by the National Assembly to organize and hold provincial elections.
During an election period, candidates representing various political parties or independent candidates campaign to gain visibility and present their platforms in order to be elected in your electoral division.
It is for one of these candidates that you vote, either in advance or on election day. The political party that elects the most MNAs forms the government, and its leader becomes the Premier. A government is called a "majority government" when it takes over more than half of the 125 seats in the National Assembly. If it takes fewer than half the seats, it is a "minority government", and the groups that form the opposition hold more seats together than the minority government party. In the history of our province, almost all governments have been majority governments.