GOODMAN: Here’s how we can get more people to vote in elections

Nicole Goodman, Assistant Professor of Political Science, wrote a piece recently published in the National Post about strategies to get voters to the polls for the fall federal election.

Goodman writes:

The year’s federal budget included a slew of boutique policy promises suggesting the government is targeting specific groups of voters gearing up for the October election.

Likewise, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has been capitalizing on the SNC-Lavalin drama and the release of the federal carbon tax. One recent analysis suggests that if Scheer wants to sway voters, climate is the way to do it.

But regardless of party strategy, a more pressing question is: Will people come out and vote?

In the 2015 federal election, about one third of Canadians did not vote. This was up from the previous five elections where voter turnout ranged between 59 per cent (in 2008, the lowest ever in Canada’s history) and 65 per cent.

Electoral participation is often regarded as a key measure of democratic health that is important for representative policy-making, government legitimacy and a strong civic culture. Falling rates of voter turnout have been a concern for a few decades, prompting questions about why people do not vote and what can be done to engage them.

Continue reading the full article here.

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