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.

Just Posted

B.C. offers early retirement, training fund for forest workers

Communities eligible for $100,000 for permanent closures

First Nations given max compensation for Ottawa’s child-welfare discrimination

2016 ruling said feds didn’t give same funding for on-reserve kids as was given to off-reserve kids

Power restored to 120,000 customers after northern B.C. transmission failure

Lightning is suspected to be the cause of the outage, says BC Hydro

Kitimat fire department halts JFJV Labour Day weekend waste burning

Fire chief says tighter controls are now in place

Three people wanted on warrants

Terrace RCMP asking for public’s help

VIDEO: Drone footage documents work to free salmon at Big Bar landslide

Video shows crews working to remove rocks and wood, and transporting salmon by helicopter

B.C. party bus company to be monitored after 40 intoxicated teens found onboard

Police received tip teens and young adults were drinking on party buses and limousines in Surrey

Rick Mercer calls out Conservative candidate in B.C. for fake meme

‘Not true. All fake. Please Stop,’ tweeted Rick Mercer in response

Bear killed in Kimberley after chasing girl, wreaking havoc on town

This particular brown-coloured bear has been the subject of many calls this summer; very food habituated, CO says

Police investigate after intoxicated teens clash with security at B.C. fair

18-year-old woman arrested and RCMP looking at possible assault in Victoria-area fall fair incident

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

BC SPCA investigating after three dogs found shot dead in Prince George ditch

The three adult dogs appeared to be well cared for before being found with gunshot wounds, BC SPCA says

Psychiatric assessment ordered for man accused in Salmon Arm church shooting

Lawyer tells court accused was diagnosed with psychosis hours after his arrest

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Most Read