Canadians "too busy" for democracy: Statistics Canada poll

New study says reasons for not casting a ballot ranged from from "too busy" to "not interested".

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Wondering why the turnout in the spring federal election was so low? A new look at voters who didn't cast their ballots has some surprising answers.

Canadian Press has the details:

OTTAWA -- A new study suggests more than a quarter of the 7.5 million eligible voters who did not cast a ballot in the May 2 federal election said they did not do so simply because they were not interested in voting.

Statistics Canada found another 23 per cent of the non-voters it surveyed said they were too busy to vote.

The most common response for not having voted was that they were "not interested in voting'' (28 per cent), which also includes feeling their vote would not have made a difference in the election results.

The 23 per cent who said they were "too busy,'' includes having family obligations or having a schedule conflict at work or school.

Another 10 per cent told StatsCan they were out of town or away, while eight per cent reported they did not like the candidates or campaign issues.

Roughly four per cent said they forgot to vote, while just over one per cent said they did not vote because of religious beliefs.

About 29 per cent of male non-voters said they did not vote because they were not interested, compared with 26 per cent of women.

Men were also slightly more likely to report that they were too busy to vote. However, female non-voters were more likely than men to indicate they did not vote because of an illness or disability (11 per cent versus six).

Reasons for not voting differed across age groups.

The most common reason among young people aged 18 to 24 who did not vote was that they were not interested in voting -- 30 per cent. Another 23 per cent reported they were too busy, while 11 per cent said they were out of town or away.

For adults aged 25 to 34 who did not vote, 31 per cent indicated they were not interested in voting, while 30 per cent said they were too busy.

Among seniors aged 65 to 74 who did not vote, the two most common reasons were their own illness or disability (22 per cent) and that they were not interested (21). The most common reason among individuals aged 75 and over was illness or disability (44 per cent).

The proportion of people who did not vote because they were not interested or they felt their vote would not have made a difference was above the national average in four provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The percentage was highest in Quebec (35 per cent).

More in Canada

Pro-gas fracking government turfed in New Brunswick election

Rally at NB Legislature, May 13, 2014 to protect forests, photo by Stephanie Merrill, NB Media Co-Op
Skeed Borkowski, owner of the Northern Lights Lodge near the Mount Polley mine

"It's gone": Imperial Metals' Mount Polley tailings spill disrupts future of local fishing lodge

“I planned on dying here,” Skeed Borkowski, owner of the Northern Lights Lodge, said. “But not from drinking the water.”
Mount Polley, tailings pond, drinking water, mercury, arsenic, Imperial Metals

No start date in sight for Imperial Metals' Mount Polley spill cleanup

Sludge from the Imperial Metals Mount Polley mine tailings pond still clogs what used to be Hazeltine Creek and extends out into Quesnel Lake. No cleanup date is set.
Due to an unmanageable stream of spam, we have disabled commenting until further notice. Go to @VanObserver to comment on Twitter or VancouverObserver on Facebook to join the conversation about this article.

Maybe your vote in any

Maybe your vote in any specific election makes a difference and maybe it doesn't. What is clear is that your non-vote will certainly make a difference and not a good one!

 

I am a regular at North Vancouver District Council meetings and am especially frustrated at municipal voters since every 3 years we vote always one or two weeks after Remembrance Day and one thing the padre ALWAYS speaks about are the values that our forefathers bled and died for. And less than two weeks after that 80% of us honor their sacrifice ... by staying home from the polls.