“Not interested in politics” is the reason most non-voters cited during Canada’s 43rd federal election (Black Press Media File)

Political apathy main reason for not voting in 2019 Canadian federal election

More than one third of non-voters (35 per cent) say they are ‘not interested in politics’

Political apathy — or Politikverdrossenheit, as Germans might say — remains the primary reason for not voting among Canadians, according to a new survey.

More than one third of non-voters (35 per cent) told Statistics Canada that they were “not interested in politics” when asked about their reasons for not voting in the 2019 federal election.

“This was the most common reason for all age groups, with the exception of those aged 75 and older, who were most likely to indicate that they did not vote due to an illness or disability,” it says in an accompanying analysis.

Just over three-quarters (77 per cent) of Canadians reported voting in the 2019 federal election, unchanged from the 2015 election.

Other factors for non-voting include being busy (22 per cent), having an illness or disability (13 per cent), or being out of town (11 per cent). These three factors grouped under the larger heading of everyday life reasons were more likely to discourage women than men from voting. Men, in contrast, were more likely to say that they are “not interested in politics.”

The survey, which amounts to a sociology of the voting public, or the non-voting public depending on perspective, underscores several broader trends.

RELATED: Federal Green party leader Elizabeth May takes Saanich-Gulf Islands

RELATED: Elizabeth May won’t step down as Saanich Gulf-Islands MP to give her successor a safe seat

First, young people are less likely to vote than older people, even as turnout among younger people has gone up. In 2011, 55 per cent of individuals aged 18 to 24, the youngest group of eligible voters, voted. By 2015, the share rose to 67 per cent, only to stagnate at 68 per cent in 2019. By comparison, 80 per cent of individuals aged 55 to 64 voted in 2011. That figure rose to 83 per cent in 2015, dropping to 81 per cent in 2019.

Second, naturalized Canadian citizens are not less likely to vote than their natural-born peers. In fact, the figures suggest that naturalized citizens are more willing to embrace democratic norms and procedures than their natural-born peers.

In 2011, 55 per cent of citizens naturalized 1o years or less after immigration voted. By 2019, that share had risen to 72 per cent. The share is even higher for naturalized citizens more than 10 years since immigration with 75 per cent in 2019. In 2011, 70 per cent of Canadian citizens by birth voted, in 2015 and 2019 was figure was 78 per cent, on par with figures for naturalized citizens.

RELATED: B.C. referendum rejects proportional representation

This said, supporters of electoral reform will likely not find much joy in the survey. Five per cent of non-voters cited the electoral process as the reason for not voting, including not being able to prove their identity or address, a lack of information about the voting process, or issues with the voter information card.

Supporters of electoral reform had previously argued that turnout would increase if Canada were replace its first-past-the-post system with a more proportional system.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mental Health: Erasing stigma leads to new path for Victoria woman

Paula Roumeliotis struggled with bipolar disorder for 35 years before finding support

COVID-19: UVic Engineering to 3-D print 4,000 face-shields for frontline workers

Team working to ensure Island health care workers have personal protective equipment

Health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

B.C.’s senior home staff measures show results in COVID-19 battle

Dr. Bonnie Henry’s order restricts care aides to one facility

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

Most Read