08 Jan 2014

Atlantic Canadians Oppose Mandatory Voting

HALIFAX:  Atlantic Canadians oppose mandatory voting in Canada, according to the most recent survey conducted by Corporate Research Associates Inc.  Mandatory voting, also known as compulsory voting, is a system where residents are obliged to vote in elections or face punitive measures such as fines or community service.  As of August 2013, 22 countries have compulsory voting including Australia which uses this system for both federal and state elections. Currently, Canada has a voluntary voting system, and recent results show that Atlantic Canadians would like it to remain this way.

Six in ten (62%) are mostly or completely opposed, with four in ten (41%) completely opposing this system. Meanwhile, over one-third (36%) of Atlantic Canadians completely or mostly support  compulsory voting in Canada, while three percent do not offer an opinion. Opposition is highest in Prince Edward Island (71%), while over six in ten Newfoundland and Labrador (64%) and a similar number of Nova Scotia (61%) and New Brunswick (59%) residents oppose mandatory voting. Across the population, opinions are similar across gender and age categories.

“Interestingly, despite the alarming decline in voter turnout that has been evident in the last decade or so, a majority of Atlantic Canadians are not willing to support the use of mandatory voting for citizens,” according to Don Mills, Chairman and CEO of Corporate Research Associates. “This may reflect the greater importance placed on the freedom to choose to vote or not vote, than the actual percentage of those who choose to vote.”

These results are part of the CRA Atlantic Quarterly®, an independent, quarterly telephone survey of Atlantic Canadians, and are based on a telephone sample of 1502 adult Atlantic Canadians, conducted from November 6 to November 30, 2013, with overall results accurate to within ± 2.5 percentage points, 95 out of 100 times.

For more information, please contact:
Don Mills, Chairman and CEO at (902) 493-3838
Margaret Brigley, President and COO at (902) 493-3830

View full release here

CRA Corporate Research Associates