26 September 2003

Low voter turnout in Ontario

Last week wednesday I was interviewed by Liz Payne of the Ottawa Citizen. Her article appeared the following day (thursday, 18 September) in the print edition, but not on the paper's website. Here are some highlights:

More than three million Canadians may have clogged phone lines to vote for the new Canadian Idol this week, but political analysts say it is unlikely even 60 per cent of Ontario residents will cast votes in the provincial election next month. And the turnout could be much lower.

Ontario's voter turnout -- just 58.3 per cent in the last provincial election -- is among the lowest in Canada, and it has been declining steadily for decades. . . .

Political science professor David Kayzis [sic] of Redeemer University College in Ancaster said Ontario and other Canadian jurisdictions should adopt some form of proportional representation so the number of seats a party wins in an election better represents the amount of popular vote it received. Under the first-past-the-post system, a candidate can win a seat with far less than half the vote, leaving many voters feeling that their votes have been wasted.

"I really believe a change in the voting system would make an enormous difference in terms of the voter turnout."

I am happy to say that I was correctly quoted, even if my surname was misspelt. Let's hope our political leaders read the article and decide to take action at last.

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