Why do people NOT vote?

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  1. Bob Ewing profile image62
    Bob Ewingposted 11 years ago

    In the last Canadian federal election only 61% of the prospective voters, voted. Do people stay away from the polls because they do not care about the outcome? Are they unable to choose?

    Why do you think people do not vote?actually v

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image60
      Evan G Rogersposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      1) Why bother voting when each party's candidate is a scumbag?
      2) Why bother voting when the candidate you want likely won't win?
      3) My time is worth money - I could be doing something else, and my vote will have little to no impact on my life.
      4) Voting just means that you willfully accept the system and are giving legitimacy to the government. By NOT voting you are sending a message that you don't buy into the system and it needs to be over thrown.

      There are a few of the better reasons to not bother to vote.

      That being said, I'm voting for Ron Paul

  2. Mikeydoes profile image44
    Mikeydoesposted 11 years ago

    I don't vote in the US, and it is becoming more and more obvious why.

    In all honestly I should be voting no Dem/Rep, to reduce their power, but man it suckss.

    Laziness I am sure is a top reason people didn't vote. That was my main reason what I was first eligible, but now the more I think about it the less I want to vote, and the less I want to be involved.

    1. Evan G Rogers profile image60
      Evan G Rogersposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      vote for a third party candidate - then at least you're helping put an end to the 2 party system.

  3. profile image0
    Motown2Chitownposted 11 years ago

    Personally, I agree that laziness is a huge part of why people don't vote, but I also believe that it's out of the conviction that one vote makes so little difference that there simply is no point.

    1. American View profile image59
      American Viewposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Today, that is simply not a good excuse. How can anyone say that after the Bush/Gore election, The Franklin election, and several others where it took months to figure out the winner because it was so close. Believe me, in todays politics, one vote could be everything

      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I didn't say it was a good excuse.  I simply said it is one.  And, I also didn't say it was true.  I just believe that there are many voters (at least in the states) who hold that conviction.  And, while it may very well have held up the Bush/Gore election, you'll notice that the winner of the popular vote in that case did not become the president...so did those popular votes ultimately make the difference?

        I think not.


      2. Evan G Rogers profile image60
        Evan G Rogersposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Just the other day 9 votes stripped my freedoms from me.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFL4L-L7 … r_embedded

  4. SomewayOuttaHere profile image61
    SomewayOuttaHereposted 11 years ago

    ...that's not an easy question to answer - i think there is a variety of reasons.....Quebec got out that's for sure - as you know some voted without even knowing the candidate or their platform; voted for the party and they are definitely expecting change.

    I think some of the rallying months before turns folks off - phone calls etc. - it's worse than telemarketers - there has to be a better way to get folks out rather than bothering them over and over

    The advertising directed at making a party look bad in the weeks leading up to an election can be a big turn off as well - I think some just get tired of reading/hearing the negativity.

    I vote - always.  I'd luv for once to hear long term strategies rather than what people are screaming about at the time - parties should stick with some kind of long term agenda no matter what changes take place within - but, they don't, rather, the platforms are reactive.

    A friend explained the process Oregon uses - he says it has increased numbers - voting by mail - he says Oregon has it figured out.  i haven't looked into that process myself to form an opinion on it - the pros and cons of it.

    ...my 2 cents this a.m.

  5. Greg Sage profile image39
    Greg Sageposted 11 years ago

    I'll toss out a crazy and I'm sure wildly unpopular notion for which I'm bound to be called a racist and all sorts of other things...

    First, there's the "My vote doesn't count thing."  It's there, but I don't think it's the lion's share of what's holding people back.

    Then, there's the taking it for granted bit.  We've actually got people in this country scouring the streets for homeless people so they can scoop them up and bribe them with cigarettes for their votes. 

    I think we scratch the surface of the bigger issue when we hear people say things like "It doesn't matter how I vote, they're all the same."

    Funny thing is, people saying that can't even name the candidates.  So... they're sure there's no difference, yet they don't know anything about what differences there actually are.

    I think this ties into a general ignorance about the political system.  True, you don't have to look very far to see some "good old boy" themes in government, and special interests and politicians taking care of each other...

    ... but politicians are people with families and emotions, and dreams, and values just like you and I.  They may come out of the wringer a bit damaged, but there are plenty who want to do whatever they believe is the right thing.

    On the voting side, the problem is that most voters don't really understand what makes the various politicians tick beyond what they've gathered from soundbites collected from their biased news media of choice.

    It's not just ignorance of the particulars, though.  It's ignorance in general.  In the US, most people really don't have a clue what the president's job is.  They're more likely to react to gas prices or a bill in the house than anything that actually relates to his job as "top cop".

    If the average citizen doesn't even understand what the executive branch IS, then how can they be expected to have an informed opinion of who should be running it?

    So, here's the radical racist bit:

    I believe you should have to have a high school equivalency in order to vote.

    There, I said it.  Now, I'll also say this:  I believe it's in our best interest to do everything possible to make sure EVERYONE has more than enough opportunity to GET that high school equivalency.  That means free opportunities... maybe even daycare for people working on GED.

    All the things that assist in assimilation and being a PART of society rather than an outcast.  I don't believe someone should be able to get that equivalency unless they can speak that country's language fluently, and have at least a basic knowledge of it's civics.

    Of course, that means a BIG push for FREE education to anyone who wants it in those areas.

    It's very little to ask, though.  Anyone who cares enough about being a part of society to take what is given to them for free to be able to communicate with their fellow citizens so they can actually be a part of the culture rather than a perpetual outsider... and who understands at least the BASICS of what they're voting for will have EARNED their right to vote.

    In the process, of course, a myriad of other problems having to do with assimilation and poor education in general are being addressed simultaneously.

    Yeah.  I know.  I'm a racist.  That's the name given these days to people who actually want to create real equality rather than perpetuating ghettos.

  6. profile image0
    Sherlock221bposted 11 years ago

    I always used to vote.  I do not support one particular party all of the time.  I look at what all of the parties are promising before the election and vote accordingly.  However, so many times, after the election, the party I had voted for has gone back on its election promises.  Their policies have done a complete about face, and sometimes, the MPs have even denied ever making such promises, even though they were filmed doing so and when they were part of their manifesto.  So, I have developed a lack of trust, and no longer believe what politicians say, and therefore believe that voting is a waste of my time.

    1. Jed Fisher profile image70
      Jed Fisherposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm no fan of voter apathy but I do understand it. Not voting can be interpereted as abstintion, a vote for None of the Above. When voter apathy rises to an overwhelming majority, then a 3rd party can rise up and sieze power very quickly, and that is disturbing to those in the currently dominant 2 parties.
      So mostly, people who choose not to vote are saying, "None of the Above."
      As a side note, I think it would be helpful if campign lies were prosecuted as fraud. That would go a long way to restoring voter confidence.

  7. Hugh Williamson profile image80
    Hugh Williamsonposted 11 years ago

    Protesting corruption by not voting is like protesting illness by not going to the doctor.

    The fanatics will usually vote while the apathetic complain about who gets elected. No politician fears those who don't vote, since non-voters have no control over the pol's fate. The only thing they fear is that an awakened electorate will endanger their cushy positions.

    Protest voting can be done by choosing splinter party candidates, writing in a symbolic name or voting against every incumbent.

    Money, lobbying, slush funds - all can be neutralized by an informed, active electorate.

  8. Bob Ewing profile image62
    Bob Ewingposted 11 years ago

    People may not vote because they are tired of being told one thing prior to the election only to get a different story after the party/person concerned gets elected.

    But is this a valid reason to not participate?

    1. Shinkicker profile image90
      Shinkickerposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Hi Bob. I think the democratic right to vote should also allow the democratic right not to vote. I understand when people get cynical and apathetic about politicians. I don't think people should be forced to vote but think though that attendance at the polling booth should be compulsory. Once there voters should be free to abstain. At least that means that they are participating instead of staying at home.

      1. profile image0
        Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I don't think that's such a bad idea.  If nothing else, it would show how many are abstaining to make a point.

  9. Cagsil profile image75
    Cagsilposted 11 years ago

    Voting for the lessor of two evil, still puts evil in office.

    The election process needs to be re-vamped.

    For those who make the claim that if you don't vote then you have no right to complain, then you need to re-evaluate your understanding of what rights are to begin with.

    The right to vote includes the right to withhold that vote, if you cannot HONESTLY back a candidate of any party.

    As a citizen, it is your duty, to use your power properly, otherwise, you support the corrupted system already in place.

    1. profile image0
      Sherlock221bposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly.  If there are no parties which I agree with, it seems pointless to vote for anyone.  I may as well stick a pin in a ballot paper, or decide on the toss of a coin.  It would be dishonest to vote for a party, if I honestly don't agree with any of them.  It would be similar to making a choice as to whether to become a Muslim or a Christian, when I have no faith in either beliefs.

  10. Jonathan Janco profile image60
    Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years ago

    Five parties instead of two might do the trick. Don't you think voter apathy would reduce if we had the choices like Libertarian, Populist, Federalist, Green, Socialist
    instead of the usual Dem/Repub storm of horsesh!t?!

    1. profile image0
      Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I think that would be the case if those other parties could get an actual foothold.  The problem is that right now, they just don't have the chance to beat out either of the two major parties.  And, because voters are mostly apathetic, they may never truly get that chance, you know?

      Sad, but true.

      1. profile image0
        Sherlock221bposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        At the last election I voted in, there were 8 candidates, but still the turnout in my neighbourhood was very low.

        1. profile image0
          Motown2Chitownposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I have no doubt.  The OP mentioned a voter turnout of just over sixty percent.  I'm willing to bet the U.S. hasn't seen a turnout that high in decades.  sad

  11. schoolgirlforreal profile image80
    schoolgirlforrealposted 11 years ago

    None of the candidates are any good

  12. Reality Bytes profile image77
    Reality Bytesposted 11 years ago

    The last Presidential election was the first time I have not voted since being eligible.  To me the same agenda was going to be pursued by either choice so I honestly felt it did not matter.

    I voted, just passed up the Presidential box.

    1. Jonathan Janco profile image60
      Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      I'm the same way kind of. Local elections I'm like yeah I gotta vote for this person. Clearly, the better selection for my interests. National elections I'm like yeahyeahyeah whatever.
      But I still vote in both local and nat'l

      I got one word for ya . . . revolution

      1. HattieMattieMae profile image59
        HattieMattieMaeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I don't vote all the time simply because talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words, and even If I vote doesn't seem to clean up the character of the people I'm voting for. smile

  13. Cagsil profile image75
    Cagsilposted 11 years ago

    This thread is about Canadian citizens. However, many of the people posting are Americans.

    It would be nice to differentiate between the two. America's register of voters is only made up of 50% of citizens.

    Of those 50% of registered voters, less than 50% actually vote. Which, tells me there is a problem? hmm

    1. Jonathan Janco profile image60
      Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      It seems Canada has a larger turnout because there are more affiliated parties. I cant really speak of Canada's govt, but the few times I've been there I got the sense also that Canadians feel a greater sense of accountability from their elected ones.
      Any Canadians have some insight on that?

      1. Cagsil profile image75
        Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        I cannot speak for Canadians either, and wouldn't do so. But, as far as Americans are concerned, the election process is in severe need of re-vamping.

        Thus, the power of the people, truly needs to be put back into the hands of the people, which it is not presently.

        Edit: And, if government refuses reform on the election process, then it is understood that the time has come to put a buffer between citizens and government, so the power of the people is put back into place.

      2. Bob Ewing profile image62
        Bob Ewingposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Canadian here, the voter turnout here appears to be going down slightly over the past 10 years, whir, about 39% of the eligible population are not so perhaps some are misrepresenting.

        Which is one reason I began the thread, I have been voting for about 40  years now and have met very few people who will openly admit they do not vote. Now many people do say things, sich as "What does it matter who I vote for, they are all the same." Or "politicans promise one thing and do another after being elected." There is some truth in both.

  14. Jonathan Janco profile image60
    Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years ago

    Oh, sorry Cags. Some reason I had it in my head that you were from Quebec or something. No idea why. Just looked and noticed you are abt two hrs drive from me. No worries, I wont be knocking on your door or anything.
    Oh well, maybe a Canadian will see the post and answer my question.

    1. Cagsil profile image75
      Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      A two hour drive? Try a 10 hour drive. lol lol

      But, hopefully, someone like the OP or another Canadian, such as Uninvited Writer, might give some insight to your question. smile

      1. Jonathan Janco profile image60
        Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        Ten hours??? Where in MA is Chicopee? I can get to Springfield in about 100 mins.

        1. Cagsil profile image75
          Cagsilposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          Where are you with regards to the American border?

          It's about a 100 minute drive, just to get out of the state and Chicopee is 10 miles north of Springfield, providing you are pushing 65 miles per hour. lol lol

          And then it would require to drive across the entire state of Vermont, just to get to the Canadian border. lol

          Edit: My estimation is about getting to Quebec. wink

          1. Jonathan Janco profile image60
            Jonathan Jancoposted 11 years agoin reply to this

            Oh crap. There's the misunderstanding!
            My estimation is from my house to your house. I'm not from Canada, I just thought you were

  15. Lisa HW profile image60
    Lisa HWposted 11 years ago

    Ok.  Here comes a really "fun" and "uplifting" answer:

    I was always someone who voted.  In my head I have all those same ideas about why it's important to vote, and why it's a privilege, etc. etc. 

    However...   When I left my marriage the courts offered me no protection of my Constitutional rights.  Worse, the courts absolutely offered my children no protection in ways I won't go into here.  The day I left my house with my kids (because I had no choice), all it took was a couple of phone calls to have an ambulance show up to pick me up for a supposed psychological evaluation.  My mother fended that off, but several police did show up later.  This was the beginning of having years of my life raped by the court system, and my rights and my children's rights (and even my ex-husbands rights) absolutely disregarded by any number of court authorities, government agencies, etc. etc.

    In the beginning I thought I could just get people to straighten things out, and I'd overlook some of the early mistakes. Mistakes and misunderstandings can happen.  I know that.  No.  Nobody straightened anything out or owned up to anything.  So then I figured I could sue.  Try to get a lawyer when another lawyer says she's representing you, but there's some kind of gag order going on (or whatever).  So, my life and my kids' lives (and their father's life) has been seriously impacted, and remains in limbo in a number of ways; to this day.

    My kids are in this state, and I don't have a lot of choice about leaving it for now.  My family remains in this country, so I'll physically remain in it for the rest of my days.  If, by some freak thing, someone wants to act as if I have Constitutional Rights (and if there's a Constitution at all, which isn't particularly something Massachusetts seems to recognize), maybe I'll think about voting (even though I'll NEVER again feel about this country or state what I did when I was stupid enough to think the Constitution is more than lip-service on paper.

    1. HattieMattieMae profile image59
      HattieMattieMaeposted 11 years agoin reply to this

      Yeah, the court system, and Government system doesn't have much sympathy for anyone. Total revamp is in order I agree! smile

      1. Moderndayslave profile image59
        Moderndayslaveposted 11 years agoin reply to this

        A trip through the court (family) system is a real eye opener. It's a real good ole boys System for real,existing only to line each others pockets and rape the victims..

        1. Lisa HW profile image60
          Lisa HWposted 11 years agoin reply to this

          I even understand (don't like it, but understand) that courts can't always operate on truth; but in the family court system, they really ought to.    Honestly, my own experience was very much like a kangaroo court; and I won't even go into all the ways the court, and people dragged in for - really - no good reason invaded our privacy, caused destruction, and even contributed to hastening my elderly, sick, mother's death (not to mention long-lasting and unfixable damage in all our lives, in any number of ways. 

          I pay attention to politics, and I'm a registered voter.   Back when this happened I said I was "going on strike" until someone straightened out, or was held accountable for, what had gone.   It wasn't even a "big, nasty, complicated" divorce for goodness sake.  (What on Earth happens if people have more going on than a marriage that needs to end?)   hmm   There are laws that supposed to protect against things like obstruction of justice or withholding evidence.  There are laws against "reckless (sp?) disregard for the facts/truth".  There are laws about ethics for lawyers.  None of them applied in my own case.  Honestly.  It's all just a big, un-funny, joke.

          I don't like admitting that I don't vote, and I don't like not voting.  Still, I'm not going to participate in a system in a country that hasn't treated me as if I'm a citizen with rights.  My father fought in WWII.  My mother lost a young, first, husband in it.    What did I get the one time I wanted/needed something from the government (the court system)?  Ridiculous, bizarre, disregard for my rights and for easily provable truth; disregard for my warnings that my mother couldn't handle too much stress, no information about any of it; and no eligibility even for any kind of help (because I speak English, didn't need job training, didn't want their free food, and wasn't in any protected group).

  16. Diane Inside profile image76
    Diane Insideposted 11 years ago

    Sometimes it like choosing the lesser of two evils.

    And thats hard to do.

  17. profile image0
    klarawieckposted 11 years ago

    because the only thing politicians do is LIE


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