UNBC Prof Encouraged by Boost in Voter Turnout
Prince George, B.C. – Preliminary numbers released by Elections Canada suggest there’s been a sizeable boost in voter turnout both nationally and regionally following yesterday’s election.
According to those numbers, 69.49% of Canadians voted across the country, up from 61.1% in the 2011 federal election.
An even bigger increase was seen in Cariboo-Prince George where turnout jumped from 58% in 2011 to 67.99% and in Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies from 54% to 67.89%.
UNBC Political Science professor Dr. Gary Wilson says it’s both “great to see” and “a good sign.”
He attributes the boost to both young people and First Nations feeling more engaged.
“We had an event at UNBC last night and there were lots of students from many different disciplines there and they all seemed to be really interested in what was going on,” says Wilson.
“There was also a lot of talk among First Nations leaders about getting the vote out and I think that shows in some of the numbers for the NDP and the Liberals.”
He also notes it’s rather ironic voter turnout was it’s highest last night since the 1993 election (69.6%).
“There was a big change that took place in that election with a shift from a Conservative party that had been in power for almost 10 years and then a shift back to the Liberals,” he says.
“So it’s kind of a repeat of what happened in the early 90s with what happened last night, and with a new young leader with lots of energy and dynamism and charisma are we on the cusp of a new Liberal dynasty for the next decade? Who knows.”