Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Election Day minus 34 - Apathy and Choice


Day 4 - Still cold out, and the promises are flying thick and fast. So I recalled a line from William Gairdner's new book The Trouble with Canada.......Still : "No government can confer a benefit upon one person or group without penalizing another."

I must be watching the CBC too much, yesterday I thought they actually asked the right question but came up with the wrong answer. The question: What causes voter apathy? They did street interviews and got good answers, like: "I'd vote if I thought it would make a difference."
Exactly right, I thought while watching. People do vote if they think there is an issue, as happened in 1988 - the "free trade" election.
Year
1988
1993
1997
2000
2004
2006
Voter Turnout Rates*
75.3%
69.6%
67.0%
61.2%
60.5%
64.7%

*http://www.mapleleafweb.com/features/voter-turnout-canada

In 2008 the turnout was just 59.1%, the lowest EVER.  You don't need to be a statistician to see the steady decline since 1988. Why bother voting if you don't think it will make a difference? By that I mean, does it matter to you if the guy that beats on you is wearing a blue hat, a red hat, an orange hat or a green hat? You are still being beaten! They are ALL the same, no wonder people are apathetic, I would be too, if I wasn't running.
Unfortunately the reporter doing the piece did not say that, he came up with some other poor excuse, but good try.
Here is a more complete list of voter turnout - as government got bigger turnout got smaller, in general.
• March 31, 1958: 79.4%
• June 18, 1962: 79%
• April 8, 1963: 79.2%
• Nov. 8 1965: 74.8%
• June 25, 1968: 75.7%
• Oct. 30, 1972: 76.7%
• July 8, 1974: 71%
• May 22, 1979: 75.7%
• Feb. 18, 1980: 69.3%
• Sept. 4, 1984: 75.3%
• Nov. 21, 1988: 75.3%
• Oct. 26, 1993: 69.64%
• June 2, 1997: 67%
• Nov. 27, 2000: 61.25%
• June 28, 2004: 60.9%
• Jan. 23, 2006: 64.7%
• Oct. 14, 2008: 59.1%
(Source: Elections Canada) 

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