THUNDER BAY – Were you too busy to vote? Or had you decided you simply don’t care about voting? Statistics Canada reports that “More than one-quarter of the 7.5 million eligible voters who reported they did not cast a ballot in the May 2, 2011 federal election indicated they did not do so because they were not interested in voting. Another 23% said they were too busy to vote”.
Another 10% said they were out of town or away, while 8% reported they did not like the candidates or campaign issues. Roughly 4% indicated they forgot to vote, while just over 1% said they did not vote because of religious beliefs.
About 29% of male non-voters said they did not vote because they were not interested, compared with 26% of women. Men were also slightly more likely to report that they were too busy to vote. However, female non-voters were more likely than men to indicate they did not vote because of an illness or disability (11% versus 6 %).
30% of the young people who didn’t vote said that they have no interest in voting. The proportion of people who did not vote because they were not interested or they felt their vote would not have made a difference was above the national average in four provinces: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Saskatchewan. The percentage was highest in Quebec (35%). Among non-voters who reported that they were too busy, the proportions were above the national average in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. The percentage was highest in Alberta (28%).
Among non-voters who lived in centres with a population of fewer than 10,000, 33% reported that they were not interested in voting. This compares with 26% of non-voters who lived in large urban centres with more than 100,000 people. In contrast, non-voters in the biggest cities were more likely to indicate they were too busy (24%). This compares with 20% of those in centres of fewer than 10,000.
In Thunder Bay Rainy River, there were 62,018 individuals on the voters list. There were 37,288 votes cast in the May election. In Thunder Bay Superior North there were 60,879 individuals on the voters list. There were 36,888 votes cast in the May 2011 election.