Not since confederation has turnout in a Canadian federal election been as low as it was in 2004. This paper examines the decision to vote—or not—through a unique lens called the Conversion ModelTM. The Conversion ModelTM, applicable to any choice situation, is based on a theory of commitment. People who are committed to voting are more likely to vote (e.g. they are loyal). The underlying results show a disengaged, uncommitted electorate. The lack of a large committed group of Canadians, combined with the large pool of people with a low commitment (non-voters) is key to understanding how turnout could have dropped so significantly, so fast.
The Canadian Journal of Market Research publication is available for download from this link Jenkins-2005-CJMR