A voter walks past a sign directing voters to a polling station for the Canadian federal election in Cremona, Alta., Monday, Oct. 19, 2015. (Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Should voting be mandatory in federal elections?

Fifty-seven per cent of British Columbians surveyed said they support compulsory voting

As the nation gears up for its next federal election this October, a majority of British Columbians believe the best way to get all eligible voters involved is to make voting mandatory.

Roughly 57 per cent of those surveyed in a recent Research Co. poll said they favour mandatory polling, while 33 per cent disagreed and seven per cent said they’re undecided on the issue.

Among those who supported the idea, Generation X and Baby Boomers were most likely to agree, at 61 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively. That’s compared t 49 per cent of millennials, or those aged 18 to 34, who agreed with compulsory voting.

Mandatory voting has been an idea debated for decades as a way to increase voter turnout. Seventy-seven per cent of Canadians stopped by a polling booth in the 2015 federal election.

READ MORE: Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

Twenty-two countries enforce compulsory voting, including Australia, Brazil and North Korea.

Exactly what sparks a higher voter turnout – a favoured government or an interest in turnover – has also been long debated, but the Research Co. poll may offer some insight into where British Columbians stand ahead of the election.

Across the province, 72 per cent of the 800 British Columbians surveyed believe “most federal politicians have to follow the party line and have little to no autonomy”, a proportion that rises to 84 per cent among residents aged 55 and over.

Fifty-eight per cent feel that “there is currently no federal political party that truly represents my views”.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent believe that “most federal politicians are trying to do the right thing.” That number dips to 27 per cent among millennials.

Only 24 per cent surveyed said they believe federal politicians actually care about what happens to “people like me”.

The exact date for the federal election has not been announced, but Elections Canada estimates it will be Oct. 21.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

federal election 2019

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pacific Coastal won’t open until community is ready

The company has suspended operations until further notice

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Celebrations continue for Tsilhqot’in Nation after court victory against Taskeo Mines Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada upholds 2014 decision rejecting New Prosperity mine on May 14, 2020

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

COLUMN: Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery

Small towns often rely on tourism, which has been decimated by COVID-19

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

Most Read