Voters can’t take elections for granted

By: Wheel Staff

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 09, 2014 02:43 pm

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When less than 20 per cent of voters actually take the time to cast a ballot, it’s a cause for concern.

Only 18,243 of 92,007 eligible voters in the Macleod riding voted on June 30. It wasn’t just Macleod that saw low turnout, even fewer people voted in Fort McMurray-Athabasca.

There could be a number of reasons for the abysmal voter turnout in last week’s Macleod byelection.

With an election held on a Monday before the Canada Day holiday, it’s likely more people were thinking about having an extra-long weekend off than voting. As well, last week’s vote was a byelection and it’s a likely more people will cast a ballot at next year’s federal election.

The low turnout could also be a result of apathy or displeasure over the federal government’s direction. Or, it could have been complacency or confidence of a guaranteed Conservative victory in Macleod.

If this is the case, Macleod MP–elect John Barlow has a lot of work ahead of him to reconnect with voters and improve communication to get people engaged with the political process.

Almost 37,000 people who voted Conservative in 2011 for former Macleod MP Ted Menzies in 2011 did not bother to vote Conservative this time around.

The same message goes for political parties and whoever ends up running as candidates in next year’s election.

In the end, it’s up to Canadians to take the time to cast their ballot come election time.

Wether it’s a byelection or a general vote, people can’t afford to take it for granted.


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