High turnout is likely to affect elections


According to some political scientists, the remnants of the pandemic, the lack of rally problems, and the disillusionment on the basis of traditional parties can mean another election with low turnout.

When John Diefenbaker was prime minister, the turnout of federal voters exceeded a record 79%, but not more than 70% since 1993. Geoffrey Hale, a professor of political science at the University of Lethbridge, sees no signs that this will change this. Time around.

“Overall voter involvement data looks relatively normal. About a quarter of voters are involved, seeing more people pass by, and the remaining one-third. Has little involvement as usual, “Hale said in an interview.

“The low turnout of Nova Scotia’s recent local elections suggests that calling an election” just because it can be done “does not necessarily mean that a large number of voters will appear. “

About 55% of Nova Scotia’s citizens participated in the state elections on August 17, a slight increase from the record lows of 2017.

Janet Epp Buckingham, a professor of political science and history at Trinity Western University, does not foresee a reversal of political indifference to this election.

“I think turnout is low. We have low confidence in our democratic system. Voters don’t trust politicians to fulfill their election promises. There is general malaise.” Buckingham told the era newsletter.

“But I think people aren’t happy with the elections now, which may be enough to mobilize people to participate in polls,” she added.

Duein Bratt, a professor of political science at Mount Royal University in Calgary, said the election was highly competitive but did not expect high turnout.

“Overall, turnout tends to be low. There was a weird jump. In 2015, there was a big leap, especially with Justin Trudeau, with many traditional non-voters, but now I don’t think it’s happening, “he said in an interview.

Voter turnout in 2019 was 67%, slightly lower than in 2015. That year, 57% of voters under the age of 35 voted for an unusually high amount. In the last three elections, participation was lowest in the 18-24 year group and increased in all age groups from 65 to 74 years. In 2019, 79.1 percent of that age group voted.

Take or switch paths

Some party voters are disillusioned enough to stay home or choose another option, Hale said. In the case of the Greens, early data said, “Green voters are farther away than the average voter. This may be reasonable given the internal conflict that has plagued the party over the past year or so. No, “he said.

He adds that there is “a slightly larger segment of voters considering a fifth party vote, especially on the right side.”

“Yesterday I handed over two digital signs to promote the People’s Party on the MacLeod Trail in Calgary, because the other options are bad.” So there are certainly groups trying to challenge this story. “

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole adopted a carbon pricing system and reached out to vote in central and eastern Canada, which could have alienated the hardcore western conservatives, Hale said.

“In the state, at least in Alberta, when conservative voters are dissatisfied, they don’t vote for anyone else and stay home, which Otur faces, especially in Alberta and Saskatchewan. I think it’s dangerous. “

“But these voters have other conservative options,” he says. For example, the People’s Party and the Maverick Party.

Serious federal liberal deficits, potential restrictions on free speech, and compulsory vaccination of federal workers and federal-regulated travel can alienate classical liberals. Time will tell you whether those voters will take a pass or switch.

There is also a threat to the Liberal Party that NDP may dig into their voter base.

“The great fear of the liberals is always part of the voters who participate in the NDP, and I think Jagmeet Singh is trying to support it. It looks like an old NDP from a policy perspective, but his The campaign has this sense of excitement and fun, but it has a happier and more confident look than Shin hadn’t campaigned in 2019, “he said.

Again, some traditional NDP voters may be less aware of political parties than they used to be.

“It’s not Ed Broadbent’s NDP. That’s for sure,” Brat said.

“NDP is not natural. They really transform what we call the Labor Party’s old left into many of the new left that focus on social and environmental issues rather than worker issues. Did.”

In fact, when it comes to workers’ issues, he said, many of those voters may find the Conservatives more attractive.

“Erin O’Toole is undertaking a worker’s cloak by discussing having a union representative on the company’s board of directors, which means that O’Toole has won or is about to win a worker’s vote from an old NDP. It’s like. “

COVID factor

Voter indifference can be expressed differently not only between specific political parties, but also in specific states. In 2019, 75.4% of eligible Prince Edward Islanders cast ballots, compared to 58.2% in Newfoundland and Labrador. These two states represent both ends of the scope of participation in all elections since 2008.

“Campaigns show very different signs from region to region,” says Hale.

“There is no galvanization problem, and two of the three national leaders are underwater on a publicly approved assessment, so turnout is higher than normal, especially if the number of COVID infections continues to increase until September. It is not unreasonable to expect that to be low. “

Bratt also wonders how the problem of COVID-19 infection arises.

“We haven’t seen a major serious outbreak yet, but the possibility exists. What if it happens in one part of the country rather than in another part of the country?”

Lee Harding

Lee Harding is a Saskatchewan-based journalist and think tank researcher and contributor to The Epoch Times.