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

Statistics Canada says political apathy main reason Canadians didn’t vote in 2019 federal election

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

Political apathy 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 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 more likely to vote 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

Northwest mines lengthen crew rotations in response to COVID-19

Northern Health confident precautions sufficient enough to keep work camps open

Coastal GasLink gives $100K to United Way efforts in Northern B.C.

Organization’s COVID-19 Relief Fund benefits seniors in isolation, among others

Don’t delay going to the ER if you have an ‘urgent or emergent’ medical problem: Chief of Staff

Dr. Rebecca Janssen writes a weekly letter to residents of the Omineca Region.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada lifts at-sea observer requirements due to COVID-19

Fisheries Management Order went into effect April 2 and will remain for 45 days

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Look at hospitalizations, not recovery stats for COVID-19, B.C. professor says

Cases in hospital are a definitive count of people who have the novel coronavirus

B.C. First Nations want to launch fight of Trans Mountain pipeline approval

Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada decided not to hear five challenges about the pipeline

N95 masks on the way for Canada after 3M reaches deal with White House

The Trump White House had ordered 3M to stop shipping masks to Canada

COLUMN: The other graph that shows B.C. can beat COVID-19

Is the curve being flattened? data on hospitalizations provides a crucial answer.

Here’s how to talk to people who aren’t taking physical distancing seriously

Approach the conversation with empathy says conflict expert

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

Most Read