Today I heard Prime Minister Stephen Harper on the radio, saying in a straightforward manner that a coalition government is a threat to Canada and that only by voting Conservative will Canada be o.k.
In the last few days, I've heard him say similar things. I know there's no threat to Canada. But today I felt personally offended by his comments. It was as if he was telling me, personally, that I am stupid if I don't vote Conservative.
I did some quick looking up of Canadian federal election information.
In the last election in the fall of 2008, only 58.8% of eligible voters even cast a ballot.
Using the figures from a Market News article [http://www.themarknews.com/articles/1716-how-to-get-canadians-to-vote] 13,929,093 people voted, out of an eligible 23,677,639 .... this gives the 58.8% voter turnout.
The Conservatives received only 37.6% of votes cast in that election [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservative_Party_of_Canada]
So .... 37.6% of 13,929,093 is 5,297,339. Taking this number as a percentage of the eligible voters, only 22.37% of eligible Canadian voters voted Conservative (with a bit of rounding) .... or that 77% of eligible Canadian voters did not vote Conservative.
Referring only to those people who did vote in the fall 2008 election, 62.4% of voters did not vote for the Conservatives. (100% -37.6%)
It may also be useful to remember that only those people in Stephen Harper's own riding voted for him.
I would personally be delighted to see some real cooperation amongst parties. I would welcome having 62.4% of people who voted actually be represented at the Federal level.
As a supporter of the Green Party, I sure would like to be represented. I look forward to a change in the voting system, away from our current "first past the post" system. Unfortunately, for the referendum of 2008, the people wanting a more representative system were unable to explain to the public how it would work. And, in the weirdness that is the current system, at least according to one set of figures, the Conservatives won more seats with fewer votes (from: http://living-in-the-country.com/2008/10/2008-election-results-as-percentage-of-popular-vote/)
I shall do my best to memorize the percentages in this note, so I can repeat them to anyone who comes into the store where I work and starts complaining about "having to vote". We all need to vote.
I think I'll walk away from the computer for a while!
Best regards to you,