The Canadian election is over and the Conservative Party of Canada has won, but produced a minority government. I have been thinking throughout this election of just how many people would vote. It always seemed like no one voted. So I've added up the numbers of how many votes the parties received and compared it to Stats Canada figures.
10,562,956 people voted in this election. The conservative government received 5,204,468 votes that resulted in a win of 143 seats out of a possible 308 seats. This means it took 49.27% of the people who voted to provide us with a minority government (for non-Canadians, there were three other parties who won seats in the house of commons and a plethora of smaller parties who did not win any seats but still campaigned and received votes).
The population of Canada was 33,311,400 as of July 1st, 2008. That provides an average of 31.7% of Canadians actually turning out to the polls. But wait, that is the total population that includes people who are not old enough to vote. The breakdowns I could find from Stats Canada were not too specific, but according to their charts for 2001, there were roughly 8 million people under the age required to vote. If you pop that number into the equation than the percentage of people voting jumps to 71.6%. That is a lot by any standard!
I'm not a statistician, but these numbers are likely very close. What is important here is that I was wrong in my earlier opinions that people don't vote in Canada. They do. The Conservative Party won, and people voted for them. My problem -which is not discussed here- is that Canada is voting locally for a federal leader. The Bloc Party SHOULD NOT be allowed to run in a federal election. How is it just that Quebecers vote for a provincial party that has no input in the matters of other provinces and yet their same votes affect the outcome of a federal election that all other provinces vote in! If the Bloc did not run in these federal elections the Conservative Party would still have won. I am fine with that because the majority of Canadians voted for them. I believe in the democratic system. BUT I do not agree with groups that CANNOT run federally still compete against federal parties in provincial ridings.