Islanders, Atlantic Canadians not in favour of mandatory voting: poll

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Elections Canada

Islanders, more than any other Atlantic Canadians, oppose mandatory voting in Canada, according to a recent survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc.

Mandatory voting, also known as compulsory voting, is a system where residents are obliged to vote in elections or face punitive measures such as fines or community service.

As of August 2013, 22 countries have compulsory voting including Australia which uses this system for both federal and state elections.

Canada has a voluntary voting system, and recent results show that Atlantic Canadians would like it to remain this way.

In the survey, P.E.I. residents voiced the largest opposition to this idea of all the Atlantic provinces, with 71 per cent of respondents rejecting the notion of compulsory voting being adopted in Canada.

Similarly, P.E.I. had the smallest amount of support for the idea at 27 per cent.

Regionally, six in 10 Atlantic Canadians are mostly or completely opposed, with four in 10 completely opposing this system. Meanwhile, over one-third of Atlantic Canadians completely or mostly support compulsory voting in Canada, while three per cent do not offer an opinion.

Over six in 10 residents of Newfoundland and Labrador and a similar number in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick oppose mandatory voting.

Across the population, opinions are similar across gender and age categories.

“Interestingly, despite the alarming decline in voter turnout that has been evident in the last decade or so, a majority of Atlantic Canadians are not willing to support the use of mandatory voting for citizens,” said to Don Mills, Chairman and CEO of CRA. “This may reflect the greater importance placed on the freedom to choose to vote or not vote, than the actual percentage of those who choose to vote.”

These results are based on a telephone sample of 1,502 adult Atlantic Canadians, conducted from Nov. 6 to Nov. 30, 2013 with overall results accurate to within plus or minus 2.5 percentage points, 95 times out of 100.

Organizations: Corporate Research Associates Inc.Mandatory, CRA

Geographic location: Canada, Australia, Canada.Similarly Newfoundland and Labrador Nova Scotia New Brunswick Don Mills

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Recent comments

  • w kennedy
    January 19, 2014 - 15:52

    The first thing the Cons did after "winning" election [39% of vote was a majority] was eliminate the $2 per vote received stipend to support opposition parties. We at least need proportional representation as in Israel and New Zealand. Would you want to partake in politics if you had to join an established party and tow their policies ?

  • candrayo
    January 19, 2014 - 10:08

    Give people something they can be proud to put their name to and they will put their name to it. Right now….it is hard for the average person to see voting as a way to get something done in this Country. So perhaps it is time we started looking to our own individual ability to make a change……If we start demanding better from government…and not just complain about it….government WILL change…but YOU and I have to make it happen and that starts at HOME!!!! That also means if you fall under the patronage umbrella…YOU are just as guilty as government when it comes to stealing from citizens of this Country…..FYI…..that goes for EVERY person that has their pay check off the backs of their fellow citizens!!! $8 glasses of orange juice is not the only person/way to steal from your fellow man!!!

    January 19, 2014 - 08:42

    I do not believe that it is a matter of mandatory voting but a matter of being forced to vote when there is no one worth voting for. The vast majority of politician are in it for themselves and could care less about the voters. That is why people feel it is better to show your disgust by not voting then being forced to vote for disgusting people.

  • And Why Should You
    January 19, 2014 - 08:19

    And why should you be forced to vote for something or someone that you feel is not in the best interest of your province or country . I personally have lost all faith in our political system . Until they change it to a system that a few back room boys filling their pockets is not running everything , I will not be voting . We need a system of independents that do what the people want (rather than the party) and have recall if they don't do their job , I will not be voting again . I personally like the system Mr. Brown brought up regarding New Hampshire , them people are not in it just for their own gain which is the way it should be .