Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Mystery Of The Non-Voter

From today's Globe:
Elections B.C. had more than 200 advance polls, 1,500 voting locations and 700 mobile teams going to places such as long-term care facilities and lighthouses.

Elections B.C. did a good job, Harry Neufeld, chief electoral officer, said in an interview.

Yet the turnout was abysmal.

The efforts of the election office cannot reverse the trend, Mr. Neufeld said. "I own only part of this turnout equation. I fully recognize I have an important part to play and I need to get information out to people ... but I cannot give motivational messages."

The biggest group of non-voters think voting has nothing to do with them.

"That's a group that is extremely hard for me as an administrator to reach out to. But it does not mean they cannot be reached," Mr. Neufeld said. (emphasis mine)
I wonder why non-voters think voting has nothing to do with them? Could it be they see voting as waste of time because they know that, in the end, their vote (unless they vote for one of the two big parties) is a waste of a walk to the polls and their political opinion is meaningless? Nah, that's crazy talk. The real reasons are and will forever be, shrouded in mystery. It's just easier that way.

Update: Oh look, a clue.
The dismal voter turnout doesn't surprise pollster Mario Canseco of Angus Reid Strategies. A week before British Columbians went to the polls, the firm conducted an online survey and found a high level of dissatisfaction with their ballot options.

“You are sitting in a coffee shop with five people, two of them aren't happy with the choices,” Mr. Canseco said this week. “We are stuck in a two-party system and no one is broadening their base.” (emphasis mine)
I do hope someone, someday, puts these clues together and solves this mystery!
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  1. Wow, if only there was some proposed system that would have made it possible for a smaller party to be elected, or to elect politicians as opposed to parties.

  2. You're talking crazy Ian. Our system is oh so perfect, which is why we refuse to change it!

    And blogger needs sarcasm tags btw.