Content Canadian Voters

May 19, 2009

The Globe and Mail has an article on the trend towards lower voter turnout in Canada.

Expert opinions on why fewer Canadians make the effort to vote range from youth indifference to negative attitudes around politicians to an electorate so disengaged that some voters missed the election entirely.

In the last two decades, voter turnout has been steadily declining to the point where turnout in the most recent federal election and votes in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Alberta reached historic lows.

Only 41 per cent of the eligible voters bothered to cast their ballots in Alberta’s provincial election last year, while just 52 per cent of B.C.’s voters went to the polls in last week’s Liberal-versus-New Democrat contest.

Just 58.8 per cent of those eligible voted in last October’s federal election, the first time since Confederation that turnout dipped below 60 per cent.

It is all due to bad attitudes. Is it at all possible that Canadians are generally content with their lives? Is it possible that a change in government will have zero negative impact on them? Is it possible that those 40-60% that vote are doing so out of habit and perhaps an inflated sense of self importance?

Perhaps low voter turnout is something to be celebrated, after all, what would the end-game look like of a political system that was operating optimally? 

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