Statistics Canada released a survey today on the reasons given by those Canadians as to why they did not vote in the May 2 federal election:
..The most common response for not having voted was that they were “not interested in voting” (28%), which also includes feeling their vote would not have made a difference in the election results. An additional 23% indicated they were “too busy”, which includes having family obligations or having a schedule conflict at work or school.
With regards to the 23% who were “too busy” to vote, they either didn’t see the notices from Elections Canada on where one could do advance voting, or else they’re using the “too busy” as an excuse and should really be lumped into the first category of not being interested (the more likely scenario, in my opinion). I’m not sure I can criticize Elections Canada for lack of advance polling advertising, because those were everywhere.
Regardless, Stephen Harper loves to see things like this – particularly the disillusioned voters who didn’t feel their vote would make any difference (which wasn’t just the youth vote, by the way. It seems to be spread across age demographics). His goal is to motivate his own ideological supporters to come to the polls to vote.. which is why I suspect he doesn’t care if Parliament is turned into a screeching madhouse, or if people are turned off by his attack/smear ads on other politicians. The goal is to depress turnout of the less ideological and to win a plurality of the rest of the voters with a united Right and a divided Center-Left. It appears last election, that aim succeeded.
The question will be what the rest of the parties do to try and decrease those “not interested/it won’t make a difference” potential voters and get them motivated to vote for their parties.