Should a “none of the above” option be added to the ballot if you don’t like any of the federal candidates?

Currently, you cannot reject a vote or state officially that you are not endorsing any of the candidates. Voters can screw up the ballots, but that cannot convey dissatisfaction.

“We are not going to say that three votes had no marks and three had a big X on top. We don’t report on that, ”said Marie-France Kenny, Elections Canada media adviser. “We will report that there are so many ballots that are spoiled and / or rejected, but we are not going to categorize the votes … or who they might have been for.”

You can choose to submit a blank ballot, but it doesn’t make sense to do so, according to Kenny.

“It will not be counted… how to say that this person was not satisfied and decided not to vote. It is simply counted as a damaged or rejected ballot. Under the rules of the Canadian Elections Act, rejected and invalid votes are not counted for any candidate and the reason for rejection or invalidity is not reported. “

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Spoiling votes doesn’t seem to be very popular. According to Elections CanadaWhen Canadians went to the polls in 2019, only one percent of the 18.35 million votes cast was deemed spoiled or rejected.

Modifying the ballots to include a “none of the above” option would require an act of Parliament, which requires the support of a majority government or a majority of political parties. However, that may not be feasible.

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“It would have to, one way or another, persuade a large number of political and administrative actors that this is a good thing and that it would somehow improve the process,” said Richard Johnston, a professor of political science at the university. from British Columbia. “That is a very high barrier. It is not a trivial thing to contemplate. “

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According to Johnston, allowing “none of the above” as an election on the ballot would actually worsen political apathy. It could encourage people not to research political parties and just come forward, check a box, and then walk away without actually participating in democracy, he argued.

“To be frank, it is not a serious idea. Elections are about electing governments, that is the end result. We shouldn’t be in the business of encouraging people to engage in cheap, throwaway conversations, ”Johnston said. “The option ‘none of the above’ doesn’t really convey information. We should encourage people to make big decisions and do whatever little research they need, maybe even just research their own values. “

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Global News reporter Tristan Field-Jones takes a closer look at what’s available if you don’t like your options and delves into why Johnston thinks a “none of the above” option is a bad idea. Click below to listen to the audio.

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Reference-globalnews.ca

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