“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

West Kootenay couple escapes Spain – safe, sound, and in self-isolation

BC couple Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

MP Morrison touts non-partisan effort to provide relief amid COVID-19 pandemic

The federal government has announced a slew of economic initiatives for those impacted by the pandemic

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

No plans to call in military right now to enforce COVID-19 quarantine: Trudeau

Trudeau unveils $7.5M for Kids Help Phone, $9M for vulnerable seniors amid COVID-19

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Olympics?

Put your knowledge to the test with these 12 questions

B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

It is not clear how much of the money will flow towards Greater Victoria food banks

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Most Read