Canadians too busy, uninterested to vote

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Canadians who stayed home when the polls opened on May 2 did so because they were either too busy or not interested, according to survey results released this week.

The results come for questions Statistics Canada tacked onto its monthly labour force survey.

It found 28 per cent of respondents weren’t interested in casting a ballot, which in some cases also meant people felt their vote wouldn’t matter. Another 23 per cent passed on a trip to the polls because they felt they were too busy.

In Alberta those numbers largely followed the national trend with 25.8 per cent staying home because they were disinterested, but 27.5 per cent said they were too busy.

The survey also allowed people to respond that they were out of town, had an illness or disability or simply did not like any of the candidates as reasons why people stayed home.

The results were similar across age groups and across provinces in most of the country, but there were some difference among new Canadians.

Only 13.8 per cent of immigrants who have been in Canada for less than 10 years said they were not interested, while 35.4 per cent said they were too busy. Those numbers changed again in immigrants who had been in the country for more than 10 years with 20.4 per cent citing lack of interest and 23.3 saying they were too busy.

The last election, which ended in a majority government for the Conservative party, saw a nationwide voter turnout of 61.4 per cent.

In the riding of Edmonton-St. Albert, out of a total of 96,815 possible voters 54,468 people cast a ballot for a voter turnout rate of 56 per cent.

Local MP Brent Rathgeber took the vast share of those ballots with 34,468 votes.

The Gazette attempted to contact Rathgeber for this article, but our calls were not returned.

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St. Albert Gazette

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