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The democratic deficit through voting erosion
  May 24, 2005

Question #1
In your opinion should people who are mentally infirm or incompetent be permitted to vote in provincial elections?
Yes    41 %
No    57 %
Question #2
In your opinion should people without proper identification as to citizenship requirements be permitted to vote on the basis of their word, that they are a Canadian or British Columbia citizen, under penalty of fine if they are discovered to be lying afterward?
Yes    24 %
No    76 %
Question #3
In your opinion should individuals incarcerated in provincial or federal prisons be permitted to vote in provincial or federal elections?
Yes    21 %
No    79 %
Question #4
In your opinion should individuals who are under legal or other decree of authority to be mentally infirm or incompetent be permitted to vote in provincial or federal elections?
Yes    08 %
No    92 %
Question #5
In your opinion should individuals be compelled by law, in circumstances where they are not properly registered or otherwise proven eligible to vote, to have any documents available at the polling station which properly substantiates their citizenship and their ability to vote under the law?
Yes    84 %
No    16 %
Question #6
In your opinion should an individual who happens to be incarcerated for only a short time for what most reasonable people would agree is a less significant crime, be permitted to vote in provincial or federal elections?
Yes    32 %
No    68 %
Commentary
Scientifically speaking approximately 24% of British Columbians who voted in the most recent general provincial election accept some of the more extraordinary provisions under both provincial and federal statutes for voting.
These provision include: 1. Not disqualifying the mentally infirm from voting 2. Not disqualifying individuals without proper identification or proof of citizenship to vote 3. Permitting individuals in provincial or federal penal institutions to vote.
Respondents in this poll were less apt to say no to the mentally infirm on the basis of “who decided they were mentally incompetent in the first place.” Many respondents who struggled with their answer basically boiled down their “NO” answer in Question #1 to the fact that as it is so-called ‘normal’ voters don’t know enough about issues or that “mentally challenged people can be more easily swayed by others.”
Respondents were far less thoughtful in their responses to questions relating to voters without proper identification or convicts than they were to those relating to the mentally infirm or incompetent. Many respondents who supported a convicts right to vote did not support an “unidentified” voters right to vote.
All of the above individuals are entitled to vote in this province and country owing in large measure to Canada’s illustrious Charter of Rights and Freedoms. ROBBINS has identified at least one specific instance in BC’s riding of Burquitlam where groups of mentally infirm or persons without proper identification voted in the last provincial election supported by BC Liberal campaign workers.
It is likely that Elections BC would be able to identify the number of voters who fit any of the categories in this poll who contributed to total votes in the last provincial election, save perhaps for the mentally infirm.
For British Columbians including one ROBBINS ‘witness’ who saw two of the three circumstances first hand at a polling station in Burquitlam, the situation is very distressing indeed. Is it possible that the same mentally incompetent people the BC Liberals threw out on the street in the first place were later picked up and bussed to polling stations to help the BC Liberals win? What a strange bit of irony when one considers Gordon Campbell’s first term! Is it any coincidence the infamous Charter of Rights and Freedoms permits all of these people to vote when British Columbians in the majority do not think they should be permitted to vote? Could Liberals anywhere in the province or in Canada win at politics if they weren’t able to manipulate the Rules to maintain power? How much lower would voter turnout figures be if these ‘unwanted’ voters did not vote? What other democracies permit these groups of people to vote? In Canadian and provincial politics is it a fair depiction to say that the inmates now have the run of the asylum?
This is a digit dialing of 565 respondents throughout the lower mainland of British Columbia between May 24th - 26th, 2005. This survey features a margin of error of 3.7%, 18 times out of 20, @98% competency,

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