Just over 61 per cent of Canadians voted in the 2011 federal election

Facebook video shines shame on Canada’s low voter turnout

'Please share widely on all the places you share stuff,' Kowalyk wrote below the video, which has almost 42,000 shares. 'And go vote.'



You’ve certainly seen the video.

If you have Facebook, that is. Because within days – maybe hours – of Matthew Kowalyk posting his election encourager to YouTube, and then to his own personal Facebook page (where it’s been made Public), the narrated short film had already racked up thousands of views and taken over your timeline.

It’s been shared on Facebook almost 42,000 times as of Tuesday, six days after it was first posted on October 7 – 12 days in advance of Canada’s federal election, and just before the country’s advanced voting polls opened.

“Please share widely on all the places you share stuff,” Kowalyk wrote. “And go vote.”

On YouTube, he writes: “This video is not sponsored by any political party. It was created by a concerned Canadian. It was paid for by no one.”

The video itself is fairly simple, with little editorial from the 41-year-old UBC student who created it. It uses a moving pie chart to illustrate its point, which is that the winning party in the 2011 federal election was ‘None of the above.’

“Two out of five eligible Canadian voters didn’t vote,” he says in the video. “Our current government was elected with 39 per cent of the votes cast, but only 61 per cent of eligible voters voted, one of the lowest voters turnouts in Canadian history.

“We’re Canada. We can do better than an F-minus-minus,” he concludes.

Of course, those are the numbers.

Voter turnout was actually 61.1 per cent in 2011 (via Elections Canada), one of the lowest in Canada’s federal history. It was only slightly higher than the country’s all-time worst turnout, which was 58.8 per cent in 2008.

According to Elections Canada, in the link above, voter turnout prior to 1993 often fluctuated between 80 per cent and 70 per cent.

“I wanted to try and engage those who feel disengaged, and try to show them how their vote matters, especially when so many people are not voting,” Kowalyk told the Huffington Post B.C., for a story published on Tuesday.

Kowalyk’s video is perhaps the most famous effort, so far, to bulk up the vote. As always, the youth vote has been targeted, with the feeling that millennials are the most politically apathetic demographic – at least, when it comes to showing up at the booth.

Only 38.8 per cent of voters aged 18 to 24 cast ballots in the federal election, again according to Elections Canada.

There are websites devoted to improving young voter turnout, with URLs like YouthVote.ca and the ‘I Will Vote‘ page on Canadians.org. As well, a group called ‘Turn Up YVR‘ was active last weekend, with buses and live music organized to entice and escort under-25s to the long weekend’s advanced voting window. Musicians who took part and lent their guitars and voices included Dan Mangan, Shaun Verreault (Wide Mouth Mason), Ryan Guldemond (Mother Mothers) and The Boom Booms.

“They’re active in new ways,” said organizer Hilary Farson, to CBC Radio, “so we asked ourselves how do you bridge that gap between the political acts youth are involved with and the traditional voting process.

“Let’s physically bring them to the polls and help them vote.”

Working on October 10, Turn Up YVR was hoping to get 300 people on their buses and voting in advanced booths.

On Tuesday, Elections Canada said 3.6 million Canadians voted over the Thanksgiving weekend, which was a 70 per cent bump from the advanced voting period in 2011.

A third of those came on Thanksgiving Monday alone.

Just Posted

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Column: Star Gazing: Binoculars for Christmas

Looking for a Christmas gift for your astronomer?

Christmas wish for Mirielle: love and carpets

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Student view: Penticton senior dishes on high school life

Kevin Styba-Nelson is a Grade 12 student at Princess Margaret Secondary School

Vegan chocolatiers set up shop in Penticton

Celine Nativel and David Mullner, of Maison Mulnati French Vegan Chocolates, discuss their craft

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Boeser has 2 points as Canucks ground Flyers 5-1

WATCH: Vancouver has little trouble with slumping Philly side

Shuswap tennis club’s indoor facility construction moving at a smooth clip

Volunteer support has been crucial, opening expected in April 2019.

Yellow Vest movement rallied in Vernon Saturday

Protesters took to the steps of the Vernon courthouse Saturday.

Man dies after falling from B.C. bridge

Intoxicated man climbed railing, lost his balance and fell into the water below

B.C. animation team the ‘heart’ of new ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

The animators, largely based in Vancouver, ultimately came up with a creative technique that is drawing praise

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Most Read