Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Last week, I lamented that kind of dirty tactics we saw in Mount Royal are turning Canadians off politics (as did Bruce Anderson).

As luck would have it, the good folks at Samara released a report today looking at why politically disengaged Canadians are disengaged. It makes for a good read, on an important topic.


  • Can nobody do simple math anymore?

    The second sentence of the summary contains a very basic mistruth (some would call it a lie). It says, "Every election, fewer people vote". Yet, the actual numbers from Elections Canada show that a decline in the number of voters (compared with the previous election) has only happened 11 times in 44 elections in Canada.

    But, some say, the population has grown, so as a percentage the number of voters has declined! Except that that's still simply not true. The percentage of the population casting a ballot has remained around the average of 46% (give or take a few %) since 1940.

    So why does every media outlet claim that voting is in decline? Two reasons. One, they're bad at math. And two, voter enumeration has improved significantly over time.

    It used to be that you had to take steps to register to vote very near to voting day; as a result, a high percent of those on the voters list cast a ballot. Then, enumerators would come to your door - so the voters list grew, but the percentage of the population casting a ballot did not. Today, your name can get on the voters list when you file your taxes - so the voters list has grown again, yet the percentage of the population actually casting a ballot still remains within the range between 40% (1942, 1953) and 50% (1979, 1984, 1988, 1993, 2006).

    It's time to kill off this lie once and for all.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:23 p.m.  

  • The last 3 points in the Exec summary read like a roadmap for renewing the Libs Yes/No?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:47 p.m.  

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