A number is never just a number: Voter turnout -- how low can we go?

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52.1

Percentage of voters who cast a ballot in the 2014 Ontario election (unofficial count), up a bit from the province's 2011 historic low voter turnout of 48 per cent. (Source and source)

64

Percentage of voters who went to the polls in the Ontario provincial election in 1990 -- the election that swept the only New Democratic government to serve in the province. Voter turnout has gone down ever since. (Source)

76.4

Percentage of P.E.I. voters who turned out for the 2011 provincial election. While that's higher than other recent provincial election voter participation rates, it was the lowest voter turnout rate for P.E.I. since 1966. (Source)

71.5

Percentage of voters in New Brunswick who cast a ballot in their 2010 election -- the highest voter turnout in that province since 1999. Clearly, New Brunswick bucked other provincial voter turnout trends. (Source)

71.4

Percentage of Quebecois voters who exercised their right to vote in the recent April 2014 provincial election in Quebec -- that's down 3.17 per cent from the previous provincial election. (Source)

66

Percentage of Saskatchewanians who exercised their right to vote in the 2011 election -- not the worst voter turnout but close to the 1995 record low of 65 per cent voter participation. (Source)

59

Percentage of Nova Scotians who cast a ballot in their 2013 provincial election -- virtually unchanged from the 2009 campaign, which drew out 58 per cent of eligible voters. (Source)

58

Percentage of voters in Newfoundland and Labrador who voted in the 2011 provincial election -- a record low for the province. (Source)

57

Percentage of Albertans who voted in their 2012 provincial election, bringing voter turnout to its highest point in that province since 1993. But Alberta's highest voter turnout happened in 1935, when 82 per cent of eligible voters cast a ballot. (Source)

56

Percentage of Manitobans who cast a ballot in that province's 2011 election, one of the lowest voter turnout results in that province. (Source)

52

Percentage of British Columbians who turned out to vote in their province's 2013 election -- just one percentage point lower than in the 2009 B.C. election, which marked a voter turnout low for that province. (Source)

One-third

Amount of first-time voters in Canada who are actually voting -- half of what first-time voter turnout was a generation ago. (Source)

#1

Main reason why Canadians say they didn't cast a vote in the 2011 federal election: not interested (27.7 per cent gave this response while 22.9 per cent said they were too busy). (Source)

3.8

Percentage of Canadians who said they didn't vote in the 2011 federal election because they forgot. D'oh! (Source)

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternative's Trish Hennessy has long been a fan of Harper Magazine's one-page list of eye-popping statistics, Harper's Index. Instead of wishing for a Canadian version to magically appear, she's created her own index -- a monthly listing of numbers about Canada and its place in the world. Hennessy's Index -- A number is never just a number -- comes out on the first of each month in rabble.ca.

Photo: postbear/flickr

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