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October 20, 2008

500,000 Ontario Voters -- Mostly Liberals -- Stayed Home: SFU Election Post-Mortem

"The 2008 election appears to have been a real success for the Conservative Party with a gain of 19 seats from the 2006 election. However...the number of Canadians voting for the Conservatives...dipped slightly. The main factor in Conservative success was the big drop in turnout among Liberal supporters. While the Green Party managed to split the Conservative's opposition by capturing a number of defecting Liberals and NDPers, the Conservatives benefited even more from the hundreds of thousands of disenchanted Liberals who simply stayed home on election day. The Conservatives picked up 11 seats in Ontario with an impressive gain in popular vote from 35 to 48 percent. However, the Conservatives won hardly any more votes in Ontario compared to 2006. Their gain in vote share came about because 500,000 Ontario voters went AWOL between the two elections, most of them Liberal, leaving the Conservative candidates better supported in comparison."
- Source: 2008 Canadian Election Results, Simon Fraser University

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Link fixed. Sorry about that.

Link doesn't work

I'm from Ontario and I did vote. However, I did not feel a sense of urgency in the province, or in the country for that matter. My motivation for voting, apart from personal conviction about the process itself, came from my, also personal, and deeply felt aversion for the Neocons personified politically by Stephen Harper and his Alliance/Reform party. I did not vote on any particular issue that the progressive parties were riding hard. I think the following is a correct assessment of the dynamics of that election that kept Ontarions AWOL:

"In their public statements, the Conservatives, Greens, Liberals and New Democrats seem to agree on more than they disagree. [...] As a result, the differences between the parties come down to what priority they place on these principles and how they intend to act on them. But this is not the stuff of great debates. And that means the sharpest differences between the parties concern personality and politics rather than policy. - http://www.publiceyeonline.com/archives/003357.html#more

The question is : Why did half a million Liberal's stay away from the polls ?

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