Early election call uninspiring

It is possible the early election start will only end up putting off more potential voters.

It’s on.

The race to Canada’s 42nd federal election is officially underway.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper lived up to the speculation he’d be paying a visit to his appointed Governor General, David Johnston, to seek permission to dissolve parliament.

Many, we’re sure, are looking forward to casting their vote on Oct. 19. Many more, undoubtedly, are not.

According to Elections Canada, more than 14.8 million people cast a ballot in the 2011 federal election, while about 7.5 million did not. That’s more than the number of votes received by any one party, including Harper’s 5.8 million-vote majority.

More than a quarter of those who didn’t vote said they simply weren’t interested. Another 23 per cent said they didn’t have time, while 7.6 per cent said they didn’t like any of the candidates.

This is a problem. Well, except maybe for the Prime Minister.

Last year, the federal government amended the Elections Act, effectively stripping Elections Canada of its ability to promote voting. Those sections removed from the act had authorized the chief electoral officer to inform the public about “the democratic right to vote,” and to “make the electoral process better known to the public, particularly to those persons and groups most likely to experience difficulties in exercising their democratic rights.”

This amendment, according to Conservative democratic reform minister Pierre Poilievre, was based on his party’s belief political candidates are better at inspiring Canadians to vote than government bureaucracies.

Based on the prominent percentage of eligible voters who didn’t cast a ballot in 2011, it’s arguable neither Elections Canada nor political candidates did a very good job at inspiring the electorate.

Now, with our federal leaders once again preoccupied with contrived photo ops, touting party platforms and attacking the competition, it is unlikely we’ll see any objective advocacy from them for voting in the coming election.

It is possible the early election start will only end up putting off more potential voters.

There appears to be a pattern here.

 

Just Posted

One fatality in Highway 97 collision in Vernon

Two vehicles involved in crash that has halted traffic

Mamas for Mamas founder survives with new lease on life

Kelowna’s Shannon Christensen escaped a dangerous situation and lived to tell about it

Peeved with speeding drivers

The owner of property spanning Highway 97A near Mara is done with having to repair her fence.

It’s all in the black for Roots & Blues

While they didn’t rake in the dough, the 2017 event made a modest profit

Accused Shuswap drug smuggler pleads not guilty in U.S. court

Colin Martin continues to fight allegations relating to cross-border drug smuggling operation

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Coquihalla drivers prepare for snow

Wintry conditions persist, with snow warnings for Coquihalla

Tychonik continues scoring run

Vees chalk up another win with Pink in the Rink

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Final phase of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to kick off in B.C.

Doctors hope to get psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy legalized in Canada and the U.S. by 2021

VIDEO: Thousands join women’s march events across B.C.

Today marks one year since the first Women’s March on Washington

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read