The number of Canadians turning out to vote may be dropping, but a majority of the country appears to still be tuning into politics, according to a new poll.
The Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Postmedia News and Global National found that less than one-third of respondents [31 per cent] said they have "tuned out of any kind of political activity, including voting."
Only eight per cent strongly agreed with that statement, while 23 per cent somewhat agreed.
That leaves the majority - 69 per cent - saying they have not tuned out, with 39 per cent strongly disagreeing that they have tuned out and 30 per cent somewhat disagree."
A huge majority say NO, they haven't tuned out, they are engaged. Trouble is, when you drill down further, the electorate's behaviour contrasts with their assertion:
A Statistics Canada survey of voters from the May election found that more than one-quarter -28 per cent - of the country's 7.5 million voters who did not cast a ballot did so because they weren't interested in voting, while another 23 per cent said they were too busy to vote.
I'm sorry, but with ADVANCE polls and every effort to make voting as PAINLESS as possible, to say you are "too busy" to vote is the clearest indication of complete and utter disinterest. Truth be told, the simplest of effort required, times and dates provided to ensure being "busy" taken into account and you still can't bother to participate in the most basic democratic expression? One thing to say you don't vote because you hate the choices, but "busy" is an admission of disinterest, anything but "tuned in".
Ipsos also asks voters impression of the government, and within these results you see that despite what we say, people are very much tuned out:
A majority also believed the government was getting things accomplished on enhancing Canada's reputation in the world (60 per cent).
Seriously? The international community criticizing us on the climate file, the UN criticizing us, ample evidence that our "reputation" is eroding and yet Canadians think our stature is on the rise? To my mind this perspective tells me that no one is paying attention, because this fall has seen a steady diet of criticism, how 6 in 10 of us see improvement escapes me.
This poll tells me Canadians like to think they're engaged and participating, but a closer look reveals superficial interest, bordering on completely oblivious. I also believe this government in particular has accurately incorporated the public indifference and sleeps well within knowledge.