Democracy Project

Hard-fought election fails to inspire more to vote

By Mia Rabson 2 minute read Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011

THE closest election contest in Manitoba in more than a decade was not enough to propel more voters to the polls.

Elections Manitoba posted official results of the Oct. 4 provincial election Thursday, and they show voter turnout actually declined almost a full percentage point from the 2007 election, to 55.77 per cent.

Turnout reported on election day was skewed because initial results included the votes of people who were sworn onto the voters list at the polls. Those voters were not initially included in the number of registered voters. Ultimately, that meant turnout went down.

Mary Skanderbeg, manager of elections operations for Elections Manitoba, said the numbers are disappointing.

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More people voted than in 2007

1 minute read Preview

More people voted than in 2007

1 minute read Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011

It turns out voter turnout wasn’t as terrible as first predicted.

As the votes rolled in late Tuesday night, initial numbers suggested just over half of Manitoba voters actually hit the polls.

Better tallies this morning put the number at 57.47 per cent, slightly better than in 2007 when 56.75 per cent of Manitobans cast a ballot. That could be thanks to a significant number of voters who hit advance polls and tight races in several ridings that made voters feel their choice really mattered.

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Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011

John Woods / The Canadian Press
A voter walks out of the polling station after voting in the Manitoba election in Winnipeg, Tuesday.

Group sends out info to rally First Nations vote

By Mia Rabson 4 minute read Preview

Group sends out info to rally First Nations vote

By Mia Rabson 4 minute read Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011

THERE are more than 100,000 First Nations people in Manitoba.

About half are over 18 and eligible to vote next week.

And at least one tribal council is doing what it can to ensure most of them do.

The Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council issued a special edition of its quarterly newsletter this week. Emailed copies were sent Monday and paper versions will be printed and on their way to the nine DOTC reserves. The hope, said DOTC chief executive officer Robert Daniels, is to give the 10,000 voters in the nine DOTC reserves the information and tools they need to participate in the provincial election.

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Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011

THERE are more than 100,000 First Nations people in Manitoba.

About half are over 18 and eligible to vote next week.

And at least one tribal council is doing what it can to ensure most of them do.

The Dakota Ojibway Tribal Council issued a special edition of its quarterly newsletter this week. Emailed copies were sent Monday and paper versions will be printed and on their way to the nine DOTC reserves. The hope, said DOTC chief executive officer Robert Daniels, is to give the 10,000 voters in the nine DOTC reserves the information and tools they need to participate in the provincial election.

Talk the vote: NDP on health care

1 minute read Preview

Talk the vote: NDP on health care

1 minute read Monday, Sep. 26, 2011

Tuesday in our Talk the Vote live chat with political reporter Mia Rabson, NDP incumbent and labour minister Jennifer Howard joins a discussion on the NDP health care platform.

Is health care going to make or break your vote? Have you ever used one of the Access Centres created by the NDP government? Do you think health care is better or worse than it was a decade ago?

Help clarify the NDP policies -- and your position on health care -- in a direct conversation with Ms. Howard. Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 3 p.m.

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Monday, Sep. 26, 2011

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS archives
Labour Minister Jennifer Howard says employers must step up to the plate to protect workers from violence.

Student ‘voters’ share opinions about parties, provincial issues

By Nick Martin 5 minute read Preview

Student ‘voters’ share opinions about parties, provincial issues

By Nick Martin 5 minute read Saturday, Sep. 24, 2011

Sure, ignore these kids because they're kids and they don't have a vote on Oct. 4.

But do so at your peril -- they'll be voters soon, they have long memories and they're not hearing much about anything that matters to them.

Nor do they find anyone seeking office is listening to them.

Students at hundreds of schools throughout Manitoba are taking part in Student Vote, the non-profit organization that provides classroom materials about the electoral process and then conducts realistic student voting.

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Saturday, Sep. 24, 2011

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Sandi Wagner (from left) with students Shirine Adel, Rana Ali, Krissy Gilmore, Tawny Young, Sarah Cable and Taylor DeCaigny.

Voter turnout under the microscope

By Mia Rabson 3 minute read Preview

Voter turnout under the microscope

By Mia Rabson 3 minute read Saturday, Sep. 24, 2011

OTTAWA -- Fixed-election dates aren't just making it easier for voters to know when they're expected to go to the polls.

They are allowing political science researchers a better chance to figure out what makes voters tick.

Or in many cases, not tick at all.

This fall, one of the largest election-study teams in Canadian history will be probing beneath the surface of the elections in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland.

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Saturday, Sep. 24, 2011

VIDEO: Bartley Kives explains why you should vote

1 minute read Preview

VIDEO: Bartley Kives explains why you should vote

1 minute read Friday, Sep. 23, 2011

Free Press reporter Bartley Kives explains, in simple terms, why you need to vote in the provincial election on October 4.

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Friday, Sep. 23, 2011

CHAT REPLAY: Talk the Vote on crime and politics

1 minute read Preview

CHAT REPLAY: Talk the Vote on crime and politics

1 minute read Friday, Sep. 23, 2011

Manitoba has a reputation for having among the highest crime rates in the country. Winnipeg is sometimes not-so-affectionately-known as the murder capital of Canada. Is it affecting your vote?

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Friday, Sep. 23, 2011

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS archives
Tory justice critic Kelvin Goertzen claims the NDP is hand-picking board members.

New Canadians new to our politics

By Carol Sanders 5 minute read Preview

New Canadians new to our politics

By Carol Sanders 5 minute read Friday, Sep. 23, 2011

After taking the oath of citizenship Thursday, some new Canadians said they're glad to have the right to vote in their first election Oct. 4, even if they're not all sure for whom.

"I don't know who I'm going to vote for," said Jeremy Castro, who came to Canada from the Philippines seven years ago and lives in Winnipeg's West End. He's been too busy, getting settled and working full-time in a warehouse to support his wife and toddler.

"But I am going to vote," he declared.

Aditi Kapoor, who came to Canada from India five years ago and lives in Elmwood, said she's voting for the candidate with "vision" in his slogan and who's tough on crime. "I really support more cops on the street fighting crime," said the woman, who lives with her husband in Elmwood. She also supports a cap on post-secondary tuition. Kapoor is working for a courier service and saving money to go to university. "I don't want to take loans."

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Friday, Sep. 23, 2011

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Harvinder Pal Singh Hirkewal and wife Amarjeet Kaur Hirkewal: He knows who he'll vote for; she hasn't made up her mind yet.

First-time voters weighing their options

By Bruce Owen 5 minute read Preview

First-time voters weighing their options

By Bruce Owen 5 minute read Thursday, Sep. 22, 2011

They say they'll vote Oct. 4, but if recent trends hold true, three of them won't.

Five young Winnipeggers, whom the Winnipeg Free Press met almost a year ago at Windsor Park Collegiate when they were in Grade 12, now spend a little part of each day following the provincial election campaign.

"Little" is the key word as it might only involve watching an ad on TV or noticing a candidate's sign in their neighbourhood.

Whatever, each of the five former high school students -- yes, they all graduated with flying colours -- is fully aware of what's going on, who the leaders are and who the candidates are in their riding.

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Thursday, Sep. 22, 2011

photos by WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
With Alzheimer's research close to her heart, Jennifer Bales will vote for McFadyen.

Long Plain, long forgotten

By Larry Kusch 5 minute read Preview

Long Plain, long forgotten

By Larry Kusch 5 minute read Saturday, Sep. 17, 2011

LONG PLAIN FIRST NATION -- With more than 1,000 potential voters, this southern Manitoba First Nation could conceivably hold the key to victory in Portage la Prairie constituency -- for the candidate who courts it.

But with a little over two weeks to voting day, no politician has yet come calling, not the NDP candidate, who came within 409 votes of wresting the seat from the Conservatives in 2007, not the Tory hopeful, who is treating Portage like a swing riding, nor the Liberal.

There are no election campaign signs to be found here. And the community's Rez Radio, a 30-watt FM station with a constituency-wide reach, has yet to air a single campaign ad.

Folks here aren't impressed with the lack of attention from the candidates.

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Saturday, Sep. 17, 2011

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Long Plain First Nation radio DJ Robert Francis works in the studio on the reserve. Long Plain Chief David Meeches is offering free advertising on the First Nation�s radio station to candidates in the provincial election.

Young people ‘quite engaged’ with politics

By Mia Rabson 2 minute read Preview

Young people ‘quite engaged’ with politics

By Mia Rabson 2 minute read Friday, Sep. 16, 2011

OTTAWA -- Young people are interested in politics and elections, they just aren't given enough tools and knowledge to get involved, Canada's chief electoral officer said Wednesday.

Marc Mayrand is meeting with various youth groups this week as part of Election Canada's first Democracy Week. It coincides today with the United Nations' International Democracy Day.

"We're talking and celebrating democracy outside of all things political," said Mayrand.

One of Elections Canada's mandates is to improve voter engagement and voter turnout. A little more than 61 per cent of voters cast a ballot in the May 2 federal election, slightly higher than the historic low of 58 per cent in 2008.

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Friday, Sep. 16, 2011

OTTAWA -- Young people are interested in politics and elections, they just aren't given enough tools and knowledge to get involved, Canada's chief electoral officer said Wednesday.

Marc Mayrand is meeting with various youth groups this week as part of Election Canada's first Democracy Week. It coincides today with the United Nations' International Democracy Day.

"We're talking and celebrating democracy outside of all things political," said Mayrand.

One of Elections Canada's mandates is to improve voter engagement and voter turnout. A little more than 61 per cent of voters cast a ballot in the May 2 federal election, slightly higher than the historic low of 58 per cent in 2008.

CHAT REPLAY: Talk the Vote on health care promises

2 minute read Preview

CHAT REPLAY: Talk the Vote on health care promises

2 minute read Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011

If you vote for almost anyone in this election it appears there will be more doctors and nurses on their way to a hospital near you. But will that sway you at the polls? Check out a replay of political reporter Mia Rabson's noon-hour online chat on election health care promises.

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Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011

U of M students pumped about provincial vote

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Preview

U of M students pumped about provincial vote

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Friday, Sep. 9, 2011

Summer's nearly over, and the kids are back in class -- but will they stuff the ballot box?

According to many of the students the Free Press surveyed at the University of Manitoba on Wednesday: you can count on them. While a few students admitted they weren't planning to vote in the Oct. 4 provincial election -- or "(hadn't) really thought about it" -- the overall chorus was in the affirmative.

But will those keen to vote make their mark on what has been a steady downward trend?

It's one of the most puzzling electoral conundrums: for all their big ideas and big energy, Canada's youth haven't been too keen to cast their ballots. In most elections, only about one-third of Canadians aged 18 to 25 vote. The trend has been with us for awhile: starting in 1984, the youth voter turnout began to drop sharply, and steadily.

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Friday, Sep. 9, 2011

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
UMSU vice-president Matt Hepner says the students union will roll out an election campaign as the Oct. 4 vote draws near.

Talk the Vote: election week in review

2 minute read Preview

Talk the Vote: election week in review

2 minute read Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

Join Free Press political reporters Mia Rabson and Bartley Kives at 10 a.m. Friday as they gather their thoughts about the election news of the day and solicit some of yours. Today's topic: a review of the election campaign, one week in.

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Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

Talk the Vote

2 minute read Preview

Talk the Vote

2 minute read Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

Join Free Press political reporters Mia Rabson and Bartley Kives daily at 3 p.m. as they gather their thoughts about the election news of the day and solicit some of yours. Today's topic: negative campaigning.

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Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

Young ‘voters’ to mark it with an X, too

By Nick Martin 3 minute read Preview

Young ‘voters’ to mark it with an X, too

By Nick Martin 3 minute read Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

Hey Greg, Hugh and Jon -- want to get an early start on wooing voters in the 2015 and 2019 provincial elections?

Tens of thousands of Manitoba students will be voting in the Oct. 4 election, though their votes won't count, at least not this time around.

Student Vote will be contesting a Manitoba provincial election for the first time, after conducting votes among students in 11 federal and provincial elections since 2003.

The non-profit organization provides materials for teachers to do election lessons in the classroom, examine the democratic process, local candidates, and the issues.

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Thursday, Sep. 8, 2011

Hey Greg, Hugh and Jon -- want to get an early start on wooing voters in the 2015 and 2019 provincial elections?

Tens of thousands of Manitoba students will be voting in the Oct. 4 election, though their votes won't count, at least not this time around.

Student Vote will be contesting a Manitoba provincial election for the first time, after conducting votes among students in 11 federal and provincial elections since 2003.

The non-profit organization provides materials for teachers to do election lessons in the classroom, examine the democratic process, local candidates, and the issues.

Take the polling station with you

By Meghan Potkins 2 minute read Preview

Take the polling station with you

By Meghan Potkins 2 minute read Friday, Sep. 2, 2011

ON election day, Everett Hopfner won't let the fact that he's in Frankfurt, Germany stop him from voting in the provincial election.

The 22-year-old music student from Sainte Rose is studying abroad but still plans to cast his vote by absentee ballot -- a move that provincial election-organizers hope other Manitobans who are out of province for the election will consider.

Manitoba residents away from the province on election day, Oct. 4, and during advance voting period from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, could be eligible to make an application for absentee voting, Elections Manitoba said Thursday.

An absentee voter must be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age and have resided in Manitoba for at least six months before election day and intend to be away for no more than six months.

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Friday, Sep. 2, 2011

ON election day, Everett Hopfner won't let the fact that he's in Frankfurt, Germany stop him from voting in the provincial election.

The 22-year-old music student from Sainte Rose is studying abroad but still plans to cast his vote by absentee ballot -- a move that provincial election-organizers hope other Manitobans who are out of province for the election will consider.

Manitoba residents away from the province on election day, Oct. 4, and during advance voting period from Sept. 24 to Oct. 1, could be eligible to make an application for absentee voting, Elections Manitoba said Thursday.

An absentee voter must be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years of age and have resided in Manitoba for at least six months before election day and intend to be away for no more than six months.

Recall house, delay election: national watchdog

By Mia Rabson 3 minute read Preview

Recall house, delay election: national watchdog

By Mia Rabson 3 minute read Thursday, Sep. 1, 2011

OTTAWA -- If politicians in Manitoba care about voter turnout, they'll go back to the legislature this week and postpone this fall's vote by a month, a national democracy watchdog said Wednesday.

Democracy Watch, a national organization formed to promote democratic principles and fairness, wants the four provinces with fixed election dates scheduled for the first two weeks of October this year, to recall their legislatures and push the dates back to November.

Prince Edward Island (election set for Oct. 3), Ontario (Oct. 6) and Newfoundland (Oct. 11) are on the hot seat with Manitoba and its Oct. 4 election date.

The organization's founder, Duff Conacher, said people with kids in school are focused on getting their fall schedules in place and aren't going to engage in the campaign. Meanwhile, university students are focused on their own return to classes, and many will have just moved and may not even have the proper ID to allow them to vote on election day.

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Thursday, Sep. 1, 2011

Have your say at the Free Press News Café.

Speak out at our Voter’s Corner

1 minute read Preview

Speak out at our Voter’s Corner

1 minute read Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011

Want to speak out about the upcoming provincial election?

Stop by the Winnipeg Free Press News Café (237 McDermot Ave.) between 1 and 4 p.m. today for a chance to put your voting rants and raves on video.

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Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011

Conservatives promise more health-care staff

1 minute read Preview

Conservatives promise more health-care staff

1 minute read Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

A Conservative government would add 250 doctors and 1,700 more nurses to the province, the party said at a boisterous election kick-off rally this evening in Winnipeg.

The promise came not from PC leader Hugh McFadyen directly, but from one of several party election TV ads played during the 45-minute event.

McFadyen later confirmed that a PC government would boost health-care frontline staff, but did not discuss numbers.

That announcement and a pledge to boost the number of ambulances in Manitoba are expected later in the campaign.

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Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011

P
Hugh McFadyen speaks at his debut election rally Tuesday

Prisoners big on voting

By Glen McGregor 2 minute read Preview

Prisoners big on voting

By Glen McGregor 2 minute read Monday, Aug. 29, 2011

OTTAWA -- Despite attempts to get more young people involved in the last federal election, the fastest-growing vote came from behind bars.

More than 17,000 incarcerated inmates cast ballots for the May 2 election, a 27 per increase from the 2008 election.

The figure marks the largest number of votes recorded by prisoners since the Supreme Court upheld the right of federal inmates to vote in 2002.

The figures were published in chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand's report on the 41st election, released last week.

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Monday, Aug. 29, 2011

OTTAWA -- Despite attempts to get more young people involved in the last federal election, the fastest-growing vote came from behind bars.

More than 17,000 incarcerated inmates cast ballots for the May 2 election, a 27 per increase from the 2008 election.

The figure marks the largest number of votes recorded by prisoners since the Supreme Court upheld the right of federal inmates to vote in 2002.

The figures were published in chief electoral officer Marc Mayrand's report on the 41st election, released last week.

Steeves steps down, will run as PC in Seine River

By Bruce Owen 1 minute read Preview

Steeves steps down, will run as PC in Seine River

By Bruce Owen 1 minute read Friday, Aug. 26, 2011

Gord Steeves stepped down today as councillor for St. Vital to run as a Progressive Conservative candidate in Seine River.

With his departure, Mayor Sam Katz today appointed Councillor Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo) as the chair of the Standing Policy Committee on Protection and Community Services.

Havixbeck, a rookie councillor elected last fall, will assume Steeves’ duties in September, once the summer prorogation of city council ends.

“Councillor Gord Steeves has been a vocal, thoughtful, and dedicated member of council who has served passionately on Executive Policy Committee and as a knowledgeable member of the protection and community services committee,” Katz said in a statement.

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Friday, Aug. 26, 2011

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Archives
Former St. Vital Coun. Gord Steeves will run as a candidate for the Progressive Conservatives.

Politicians need a new strategy to reach youth

By Suzie De Luca and Malaya Marcelino 6 minute read Preview

Politicians need a new strategy to reach youth

By Suzie De Luca and Malaya Marcelino 6 minute read Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011

We made a new friend in her late-forties and, as we typed her contact information into our cellphones, she said: "What's with your generation? Can't any of you use a pencil?" To our surprise and discomfort, she launched into a tirade about the ills suffered by young people today due to our upbringing with the Internet and computer gadgets.

"Young people are forever on their phones texting, playing video games or chatting online," she went on. "You guys don't know how to have a normal conversation and are just sitting at home in front of computer monitors getting fat. You don't write, spell or read! Your generation is so spoiled. You don't care about what's going on in the world around you because all you care about are your friends or whatever shenanigans Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are up to!" She asked, "What's going to happen to the world when your generation takes over? You guys don't even vote!"

In a nutshell, our friend captured the critique many social commentators have made about today's youth, who are often disparagingly called the "Me Generation". We are the children of Baby Boomers, the largest age cohort worldwide at 81 million, and are beginning to enter the so-called "real world" of work, families, and (perhaps) politics. Everything from our consumption habits to our disturbing lack of political participation are being noticed because we are beginning to make our mark on the world around us. While some of these charges leveled at us are empirically false, there is no denying that youth today are turning away from traditional politics to a greater extent than their elders, and this will have a big impact on our democratic institutions.

There is no shortage of opinions as to why youth are not voting. One of the more convincing arguments comes from Don Tapscott, the bestselling Canadian author of Wikinomics and Grown Up Digital. Tapscott's research suggests that today's youth are quite distinct from previous generations because they are the first generation to grow up with interactive technology. Despite troubling issues like cyber bullying and privacy concerns, new tools like the Internet and social networking sites have great potential in terms of engaging them in a new form of politics.

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Saturday, Aug. 20, 2011

John Woods / Winnipeg Free Press
University of Manitoba politicalscience students Suzie De Luca (from right), Jared Dudar and Al Klassen talk to shoppers at St.Vital Centre Friday about voting in the upcoming election.

Young enumerator takes election process to heart

By Mia Rabson 4 minute read Preview

Young enumerator takes election process to heart

By Mia Rabson 4 minute read Friday, Aug. 12, 2011

CAM Bredin was just one day shy of being old enough to vote in last May's federal election.

But the recent Linden Christian School graduate is making up for the disappointment by throwing himself into the upcoming provincial election with gusto.

Bredin, who turned 18 May 3, has been going door to door in south Winnipeg for the last two weeks, registering people to vote in the Oct. 4 provincial election.

"I thought it would be pretty fun," said Bredin.

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Friday, Aug. 12, 2011

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Cam Bredin is an anomaly among young people, who often don�t even vote.

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