Almost 60% of Canadians think election day should be a holiday: survey
A person casts a ballot in this file photo. (Chris Young / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
VANCOUVER - The federal election is less than two weeks away and a new survey suggests Canadians would like the entire day to be recognized as a holiday.
According to a poll conducted by Research Co., 58 per cent of Canadians agree that election day should be a public holiday across the country. One-third are not in favour of the idea, however.
"Canadians aged 18-to-34 (72 per cent) are significantly more likely to concur with the notion of making election day a holiday," said Mario Canseco, president of Research Co. in a news release.
"Canadians aged 35-to-54 (57 per cent) and those over the age of 55 (48 per cent) are not as enthusiastic."
Meanwhile the majority of Canadians polled said they feel voting should be mandatory in federal elections. Residents 55 and older were the most likely to be in favour of compulsory voting at 68 per cent.
In the 2015 federal election, voter turnout was higher than the previous three elections at 68.3 per cent, according to Elections Canada.
Right now, Elections Canada says that by law, everyone who is eligible to vote must have three consecutive hours to cast their ballot on election day. If someone doesn't have three consecutive hours to vote when the polls are open, their employer must give them time off.
This election, advanced polls are open on Oct. 11, 12, 13 and 14.
For those running in elections, nearly 70 per cent of Canadians said they think it should be mandatory for candidates to attend at least one public debate in their riding with candidates from other parties.
Results from the Research Co.'s survey were gathered from an online study conducted between Sept. 24 and Sept. 26 among 1,000 adults. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Canada's federal election is on Oct. 21.