Yes we can!

Voter turnout in BC is appalling. In the 2005 provincial election only 58 percent of eligible voters bothered to vote. The 2009 election saw that drop to 50 percent. For all the anger around the issue, the recent HST referendum saw about 52 percent of ballots returned.

Some non-voters in the provincial elections may have the excuse of being too busy to make it to the polls. However, the HST ballot could be mailed or dropped off any time over a period of weeks. It is pretty hard to justify an excuse of “too busy”.

Perhaps some voters just don’t care? That is the response given by some in polls on the topic. Could British Columbians really have the attitude “Do what you want, it’s OK with me. Give my tax dollars to your friends, shut down services, trash the environment. I don’t mind.” Maybe it’s me, but I can’t see that being the true attitude of more than a handful of people.

Elections Canada’s “Explaining the Turnout Decline in Canadian Federal Elections: A New Survey of Non-voters”1 indicates dissatisfaction with politicians and government and a sense of the act of voting being meaningless as it brings no real change. That is just the sort of sentiment I find in talking with people who are not engaged with one party or another. They just don’t feel that their vote can make a difference.

To those non-voters I say; Just look at the numbers! The last federal election put in place a majority government with only 39 percent of the votes from the 61.4 percent of voters who turned out, or about 24 percent of overall eligible votes. Gordon Cambell’s Liberals won a majority in BC in 2009 with 46 percent of the popular vote. That’s 46 percent of the 50 percent who voted, or 23 percent of eligible voters.

The disenfranchised in BC comprise some 48 percent of eligible BC voters. That 48 percent could be the strongest block of voters in the province! They, you if you have been among the non-voters, could be an overwhelming force in the future of BC! If you have had enough of the Liberal/Socred vs NDP flip-flop in this province that seems to be two sides of the same diminishing value coin; then I urge you to take a good look at the Green Party of BC. Read the Green Party plan online. Download the Green Book 2011. I believe you will find there a vision for real change in BC that forward-thinking individuals and businesses can get behind to bring about a tide-change in our province. To borrow a line from U.S. President Obama, “Yes we can!”


1. Explaining the Turnout Decline in Canadian Federal Elections: A New Survey of Non-voters

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