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Former politician says low voter turnout is not a reason to implement mandatory voting

Fifty-seven per cent of Ontarians did not vote in June election
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Only 43 per cent of Ontarians voted in the most recent provincial election, leading to renewed concerns about voter turnout.

Mandatory voting has been successful in increasing turnout in countries like Australia, but John Milloy does not think it's the right solution for Ontario.

Milloy is the director of the Centre for Public Ethics and assistant professor of Public Ethics at Martin Luther University College. Appearing on the Mike Farwell Show on CityNews 570 on Thursday, Milloy said the number of people voting is not the main problem. 

"How many of us are worried simply about the number, or are we worried about the fact that we have a population that is not engaged," Milloy said.

With skepticism surrounding politics so high, Milloy believes that finding a way to engage people politically should be the priority. 

"My argument is forcing [people] to vote, I don't think is somehow going to magically change their attitude," he said. "I've met a lot of people who tell me all politicians are liars, they're crooks... the list goes on."

The cynicism that people are feeling is heightened by a variety of factors including negative attack ads that often confirm their suspicions about politicians.

Instead of forcing people to vote, Milloy says they need to feel as though they are a part of the community. 

"Part of it is education, part of is getting [people] more involved in their community," he said. "That doesn't necessarily have to be joining a political party, but just feeling a sense of ownership."

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