July 5, 2011

Canadians too busy or bored of elections to vote

CANADA - According to a new study by Statistics Canada 28% of the 7.5 million eligible voters who did not cast a ballot in the May 2 federal election said they were not interested in voting or felt their vote wouldn't make a difference.

23% of Canadian non-voters surveyed said they were "too busy to vote" due to family obligations or having a schedule conflict at work or school.

10% of Canadian non-voters told StatsCan they were out of town or away.

8% of Canadian non-voters said they did not like the candidates or campaign issues.

4% of Canadian non-voters said they forgot to vote.

A little over 1% said they did not vote because of religious beliefs.

Which begs the question... maybe election days should be holidays and voting should be made mandatory? (And people who choose not to vote due to religious reasons can simply spoil their ballot like some Canadians do as a form of protest.)

Turnout for the May 2nd 2011 election was a mere 61.4%. The Conservative government was elected with a mere 24.33% of eligible voters.

The 38.6% of eligible voters who didn't vote have the power to elect whatever government they want but simply choose not to or are too busy.

However if election days were holidays 27% of Canadian non-voters (those who forgot or were too busy) would be able to vote. Thus 10.42% more Canadians would be able to vote if election days were holidays.

Making voting mandatory may be a stretch, since some people (ie. elderly or disabled people) sometimes cannot vote due to lack of transportation.

And lastly people who don't understand the issues should be discouraged from voting anyway, because they are ill informed and lack the level of responsible knowledge to be voting in the first place. Thus keeping voting as a choice rather than as a mandatory obligation is a good thing.

Many other countries currently have election days as holidays. Why not Canada?

See Also: The Canadian Political Spectrum

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