The uninterested -

The uninterested


According to a Statistics Canada survey, 27.7% of Canadians confessed to not voting in the last election because they weren’t interested of those who didn’t vote in the last election identified a lack of interest as the reason for their failure to do so.*

On the subject of apathy, you might add the 22.9% (of non-voters) who claimed to be “too busy” to vote, but let’s stick with the admittedly apathetic for a moment. The demographic breakdowns of that group are as follows.

Men were more apathetic than women (29.2% to 26.1%).

Broken down by age group, it is not merely the young (non-voters) who admit to being disinterested. Not until you approach retirement-aged Canadians non-voters does the number begin to drop markedly.

18 to 24 years old: 29.9%
25 to 32 years old: 30.8%
35 to 44 years old: 27.5%
45 to 54 years old: 29.1%
55 to 64 years old: 25.8%
65 to 74 years old: 21.3%
75 years old and over: 13.4%

By province, Quebec respondents non-voters (35.3%) were the least interested most-admittedly uninterested.

By geography, (non-voting) Canadians in large urban centres were more likely to vote than Canadians in more rural areas. were less likely to identify disinterest as their reason for not voting.

And finally, by immigrant status, the numbers are as follows.

Immigrants with citizenship who landed in previous 10 years: 13.8%
Immigrants with citizenship who landed more than 10 years ago: 20.4%
Canadian citizens by birth: 29.9%

Make of all of this what you will.

*StatsCan notes that I incorrectly presented the numbers as a percentage of all Canadians. The numbers are, in fact, a percentage of those who didn’t vote in the last election. Corrections and clarifications throughout.


The uninterested

  1. For many people, govt is a drone in the background that has no connection to their lives. In fact they rarely ever notice it.

    Because nothing ever changes….and proposed changes, like the senate…make no difference to anyone.

  2. …it is not merely the young who admit to being disinterested.

    Aaron, please back away from the misuse of disinterested to mean uninterested.

    Although a disinterested person, having no stake in the outcome while understanding the parties’ positions, would probably not vote, either. 

  3. Wherry:  My gob was well and truly smacked when I read Pearson tidbit the other week. How was it possible that 70% of Canadians could not name one Pearson accomplishment? 

    People are apathetic, for sure, but I am convinced it is getting worse. When government was smaller, people felt responsible for others welfare but now when there is problem, we just say to ourselves government will take care of it, we don’t have to worry ourselves. 

    I am Libertarian, don’t like State forcing people to do things they are not inclined to do, but I believe it would be good idea to make voting mandatory. If I was King or PM – God help you all – I would make Canada/Dominion Day national holiday and make people vote every four years.

    Raise voting age to 21, have street parties, bands performing, whatever … etc. Anything to make people pay attention and participate in civic life. 

    Globe Mail, Jan 2011:

    Mr. Marzolini, the Liberal Party pollster, told Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, MPs and Senators at their caucus meeting this week that only 15 per cent of the Canadian electorate is paying attention to federal politics.

    Maclean’s –  Canada’s Best PMs – Lester Pearson:

    “When he left office in 1968, a poll had shown that 70 per cent of Canadians could not name a single accomplishment of his government.

    Yet it was Pearson who brought in the national medicare program, the Canada Pension Plan, and the Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors. He gave Canada a distinctive flag and established the groundbreaking Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.

    And he did all this in five years and without ever holding a majority in the House of Commons”

    • You are not remotely a Libertarian.

      • No, he is.  But with a lot of ideology, there’s an “except” portion.  And even more confusing or tough to deal with, his “except” may be very different from the next Libertarian’s “except”.

        Goes for everyone, mind you, not just Libertarians.

        • LOL his first big ‘except’ is anyone with a uterus.

          Something that’s the majority in Canada

          • The widespread practice of feticide in India and elsewhere in Asia has come into focus in the wake of much-publicized recent studies. Mara Hvistendahl poses the question most sharply when she asks: “How did more than 160 million women go missing in Asia?

            Ms. Hvistendahl is the author of a challenging and thought-provoking new book “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men” which casts an important light on the “missing women” of this world.”


            More than three million unborn babies have died from abortion in Canada since 1969, when abortion was first decriminalized. Statistics Canada tables show a recorded total of 2,822,293 abortions between 1969 and 2005.

            Assuming an annual average of 100,000 abortions for 2006 and 2007 (and recognizing that reported numbers since 2000 reflect about 90 percent of abortions) the total number of abortions is more than three million.


          • Something well known for centuries.

            Keep your rosary off my ovaries.

  4. “StatsCan notes that I incorrectly presented the numbers as a percentage of all Canadians.”

    Seriously? It makes me twitchy indeed to learn that StatsCan has people monitoring the internet. 

    Orwell ~ Big Brother is watching you

  5. This is precisely why mandatory voting is such a bad idea.