NDP and Liberals should be worried about turnout in leadership votes

(Victoria, BC, April 19th 2011) – IntegrityBC today noted that the low voter turnout in both the BC Liberal and NDP leadership races should be a concern for both parties as they prepare for the next provincial election.
According to the BC Liberal party website, the estimated number of party members is 90,000 but only 54,879 or 61 per cent voted to select BC’s new premier. And according to the NDP website, they have approximately 28,000 members, but did only marginally better with a 71 per cent turnout or 20,016 who voted to choose their new leader.
“Neither party should be proud of these results, particularly when contrasted against the total number of eligible voters in the province: only 1.7 per cent of eligible voters participated in the vote to select BC’s new premier and even less – 0.6 per cent – chose the new opposition leader,” said IntegrityBC spokesperson Dermod Travis.
When contrasted against a 2003 Statistics Canada study that revealed five per cent of non-retired Canadians were members of a political party, both the BC Liberals and NDP should be worried that their respective races failed to inspire British Columbians.
“These results, following the record low turnout in the last BC election, point to an ever widening gap between BC’s government and its voters that does not bode well for BC’s democracy,” said Travis.