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A Downward Trend In Federal Election Voter Turnout In Canada

1907 words - 8 pages

Through the nineteen nineties and the two thousands, federal election voter turnout maintained a downward trend in Canada. The vote is one of civic obligation that citizens must follow for their civil liberties and rights. When a controversial issue arises, people participate in various forms of political activities to ensure that their rights and liberties are not threatened by government or politicians. Mostly, protest is used to resolve the issue more than other forms of political activities because the outcome is obvious, although it requires risks. Due to the outstanding achievement of their goals, people think that protest is an effective way to achieve their objectives. However, some ...view middle of the document...

And this consequence of the economic downturn has discouraged many Canadians to vote during the federal elections. The finding of Flavin and Keane proves that people who have the higher life satisfaction more likely to vote because individuals can be motivated to participate in political participation when “their well-being has been secured ”.(Flavin & Keane, 2011) Income has a significant relationship with the life satisfaction to influence people’s well-being. Blais and Loewen saw that income can influence a voting decision.(Blais & Loewen, 2009) The reason that income has become the influence factor is that more disposable income allows them to have more discretionary spending to satisfy their wants and objectives. The Milan’s research result also revealed that “wealthier individuals” who have a home are more likely to vote than individuals who do not have their home. (“Factors associated with voting,” n.d.) As people are self-interested human being, they do not consider political participation as their priorities until their goals or objectives are achieved. The economic downturn affected a decrease in discretionary spending of people while the prices of goods have increased. So, people had more concerns about insecure jobs, and less disposable income that should be used to pay off their debt. There were many people who suffered financial issue that limited their ability to go beyond their interests during the early two thousands. Although the vote is a civic duty, financial issues directly related to their living are major concerns and more important than the voting.
The change of voting segments is another critical cause of a decline in the voting turnout because the new generations may have different beliefs and cultures from the older generations. Cultures has passed down from generation to generation, and values have been shared among generations. However, globalization and the internet enable to communicate regardless of their location and to share cultures among countries. Traditional culture has been diminished, and the new generation has formed their own culture. Compared to recent generations, the Baby Boomer generation has a stronger collective culture that makes people socially connected and more religious affiliation than young Canadians. To young Canadians, religion is no longer an important value in their lives unlike aged people. In addition, the new generations has become more individualism. Due to the individualism, many young Canadians do not see the voting as an important and an obligated civic duty. Although the voting is a compulsory duty, many people think that they have a freedom to choose to vote or not to vote as they are living in the democratic country. The research result conducted by Uppal and LaRochelle-Cote revealed “individuals under age 45 were less likely to vote, even after controlling for other characteristics.” Furthermore, the political parties do not recognize the different value priorities among...

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