Thursday, September 23, 2021

Voter apathy stems from rising trends, lack of confidence: Pandit

With less than a week before election day, recent Ipsos poll results raise concerns over voter apathy and low voter turnout, showing that more than 35 percent of Canadian voters don’t like either party. And 13 percent are “completely undecided.” Which candidate will they vote for?

Hamish Telford, associate professor of political science at the University of Fraser Valley, says there are “a variety of long-term trends” that make voters less excited today than they were in the past.

“The division of the party system is representative to a certain extent of that discontent,” Telford told The Epoch Times.

“People don’t attend parties like they used to, and so don’t have the same membership that they used to. Members are older – young people don’t attend parties at all.”

It could also be tougher for voters who have become disenchanted with the party they have traditionally supported for any other alternative, he said.

“Now we see people with different political views as evil and are going to destroy the country. So instead of moving on people’s thoughts, there is a change in perception and tone. And it’s funny – we’re debating small policy differences, but we and the world are different.”

As for the leaders’ debate, Telford suspects he gave voters a reason to be more engaged.

“The answers were shallow, and of course they were shallow because [the leaders] Not enough time was given to explain on the answers,” he said.

“I have shown [the 1984 and 1988] The arguments for my students and they were unbelievable. Like, ‘You guys really saw that? Will anyone see it?’ And at that time you had three very learned men standing on a platform for three hours explaining the policies.

“Since then the culture will not allow it. Political leaders are not trained to do that, and citizens are no longer trained to sit through that kind of exercise.”

Wanda Krause, a political scientist and assistant professor in the School of Leadership Studies at Royal Rhodes University in B.C., believes liberals have disappointed some Canadians with their slow progress on certain issues, such as those for indigenous communities. Clean drinking water

“Canadians really want to see change. They really want their issues to be put forward and taken seriously. But still, they don’t know who else to vote for, so there’s a bit of discontent,” Krause said in an interview.

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Overall, 30 percent of Canadians are unsure which party has the best plan for Canada’s post-COVID future, according to an Ipsos poll released on September 9, while the vast majority (78 percent) of undecided voters feel the same, “Believe that they are all alike.”

In addition, the survey noted that undecided voters often turn out to be non-voters on Election Day, as they may be most difficult to motivate.

“When they listen to the various forums of our potential leaders and the current leader, they don’t sound as different as before. It’s, ‘Who am I going to vote for, if there isn’t such a big difference?’ And yet there is so much going on in the lives of Canadians that they are not spending that much time reading about the different platforms,” Krause said.

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Malcolm Bird, a political scientist at the University of Winnipeg, believes that one reason for voter discontent is that criticism has taken away respect for the government in general, which may not be justified.

“I don’t think people really understand that being in government is not easy,” he said. “You have to make a really tough choice. You have limited resources, you have everyone complaining, you are under incredible time and information and outside pressure.”

A lack of trust also plays a role, says Krause, noting that on some issues, voters may not be confident that leaders running for election will keep their promises.

“What are the leaders saying what they are going to do and is it reassuring? Are real solutions being worked out, not just politically correct ones? [ones] Or lip service?” she says.

“Are they following their word? I think there’s a bit of a crisis here, not in terms of care or involvement, but trust. Canadians are asking more, ‘Are leaders keeping their promises?’ Many Canadians are feeling that we do not have leaders. And I’m not sure Canadians even think they’re being listened to.”

Lee Harding is a journalist and think tank researcher based in Saskatchewan, and a contributor to The Epoch Times.


This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

Voter apathy stems from rising trends, lack of confidence: Pandit
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