Here, at Totem Park (one of the many residences at UBC), we have a little publication called the Totem Times. In the October issue there were two completely unofficial and unscientific polls concerning the upcoming elections in Canada and the USA.
The first poll was “Who will win the US Presidential Election?” 90% said Obama, 10% said McCain. There was also an option like “Who are these people?” but no one chose that box.
The second poll was “Does Stephen Harper’s Conservative Party have what it takes to win another term in Office?” 47% said No, 36% said Yes and 17% said Who is Stephen Harper?
Is it just me or is it terrifying that one in five students polled, all of whom are currently living in Canada, didn’t know who Harper was? No wonder voter turnout is so low when there are people out there (and not really so much “out there” as right here at UBC) who don’t even know who Harper is.
And strangely enough every single one of the those people (the same residents replied to both of the polls) knew who McCain and Obama were. I know a lot of people have a problem with the amount of media that is focused on American elections and the length of time they go on for, but at least people know who the candidates are.
My one consolation is that some of the people that answered “Who is Harper” were probably trying to be ironic.
One can only hope.
Regardless, there is nothing ironic about 10 million people choosing not to vote.