Voter Turnout Plunges Throughout the Western World … Largely Due to Political Corruption

Less People Voted than in 2004 or 2008

AP notes:

Preliminary figures suggest fewer people voted this year than four years ago, when voters shattered turnout records as they elected Obama to his first term.

In most states, the numbers were even lower than in 2004, said Curtis Gans, director of American University’s Center for the Study of the American Electorate. Every state but Iowa is showing a smaller turnout than in 2008, Gans said. Still, the full picture may not be known for weeks because much of the counting takes place after Election Day.

“This was a major plunge in turnout nationally,” said Gans, who estimated about 126 million Americans voted, for an overall turnout rate of about 57.5 percent.


“Beyond the people with passion, we have a disengaged electorate,” Gans said.

USA Today noted in August:

They cite a range of reasons for declaring they won’t vote or saying the odds are no better than 50-50 that they will: They’re too busy. They aren’t excited about either candidate. Their vote doesn’t really matter. And nothing ever gets done, anyway.


This year, perhaps 90 million Americans who could vote won’t. “The long-term trend tends to be awful,” Gans says. “There’s a lot of lack of trust in our leaders, a lack of positive feelings about political institutions, a lack of quality education for large segments of the public, a lack of civic education, the fragmenting effects of waves of communications technology, the cynicism of the coverage of politics — I could go on with a long litany.”


Many of these unlikely voters are suspicious of and disconnected from politics. In the survey, six in 10 say they don’t pay attention to politics because “nothing ever gets done”; 54% call politics “corrupt.”


David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, which took the survey [said] “You’ve got this overriding sense of bitterness and people who have been beaten down by the economy and the negativity and the lack of trust….


What could convince them to vote?

About one in 10 say they could be drawn by different candidates, by being convinced someone could fix the nation’s problems, and by feeling better informed.

Given that both the mainstream GOP and Democratic parties ignore the voters’ wishes on the core issues – and even ignore their own “base” – this is not entirely surprising.  You don’t need a PhD in political science or economics to know that both parties are ignoring your wishes regarding war, jobs, freedoms and giving the little guy a fair shake.

In fact, voter turnout has plummeted in Western countries over the last 5 decades:

Change in voter turnout over time for five selected countries

Including Canada:

Historical voter turnout in Canada

Why? There are many factors. One is .

As Wikipedia notes:

During this same period, other forms of political participation have also declined, such as voluntary participation in political parties and the attendance of observers at town meetings.


At the same time, some forms of participation have increased. People have become far more likely to participate in boycotts, demonstrations, and to donate to political campaigns.


Trust in government and in politicians has decreased in many nations.

In other words, corruption has become epidemic, and so people are tuning out.

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  • trigon400

    Notice how they still refuse to mention the Ron Paul factor…
    Writers of post election analysis articles try to ignore Paul as much as the RNC did (The RNC commited vote fraud on top of that).
    Sorry Republicans, the Ron Paul faction isn’t going anywhere, nor are you if you refuse to submit a true liberty loving conservative.
    We will stay home in 2016 if you ignore us again.

    • amerikagulag

      The only way to overcome this political sham is to have hand counted, verifiable ballots. But I think the no-show factor speaks loudly. To me it says, “a couple more like these and we won’t bother voting at all, we’ll just oust you physically.” Ohhhh, if only!

      • Strider73

        Paper ballots are no guarantee. The Daley & LBJ gangs teamed up to steal the 1960 election with paper ballots. Heck, Tammany Hall was stuffing ballot boxes in NYC during the War of Yankee Aggression.

        • The Scarlet Pimpernel

          The solution there is maintaining provenance of every ballot. If that requires a military guard on the ballots from start to finish, wouldn’t that be better than voter fraud?

    • Micaiah

      The entire corruption thing is the Ron Paul factor. They just don’t mention his name. It’s to scary.

  • Hegel

    Conclusion is an overstatement of the evidence cited. Many factors other than corruption are mentioned and none of the allegations of corruption are based on anything except some vague expressions of opinion by unknown parties who may or may not know what is going on. Whoever wrote this needs to be more rigorous.

    • Mary Gribble

      Rothchild (changed his name to Rothchild) and Rockefeller own both parties. Each candidate supports the same masters. No choice. Hope this is a more rigorous summary. Ron Paul wanted to bring this country to the ideals of the Constitution, therefore was shat upon.

    • RJ OGuillory

      from a journalistic perspective…”allegations of corruption are based on anything except some vague expressions of opinion by unknown parties who may or may not know what is going on”…this is not a bad observation…but if you mean to imply there is not enough “evidence of corruption”…then you have not a clue….hell…just start with the torture memos…or 911 and the free-falling buildings…I mean, really…if you mean there is no evidence…get a clue or work at being a better troll..


      RJ O’Guillory
      Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

      • Hegel

        The article is the subject of my comment, not ideas or facts that readers may or may not possess. If the author wishes to convince, rather than preach to a crowd that already has a preconceived view, it would be best to do some work and show what corruption really is, how it works and how it has really affected voter turnout. The flaw in the argument presented is that it shows a minor decline in overall voter turnout, mentions some comments about corruption, but does not demonstrate whether there is any rational connection, never mind a cause and effect relationship. Existence of corruption (which is not defined, and therefore will be whatever a reader wishes) is not by itself evidence that it influences voters and leads to a decline in participation rates. Arguing that I do not have a clue because I do not cite what you might think is corruption is not a valid response to my complaint that the article lacks any such evidence and draws a conclusion without showing any connection. Example of bad reasoning: “All animals that fly have wings. An ostrich has wings. An ostrich must be able to fly”. Note: ostriches can’t fly but they do have wings. Animals may need wings to fly, but having wings is not a guarantee that an animal can fly.

        • Skip

          I think you are missing the point. My impression is the author is not speaking definitively about examples of corruption or trying to prove it exists, but rather certain American’s perceptions that corruption is prevalent. Thus many use it for a justification not to vote. As Andre Agassi said, “Image is everything”. And currently 54% of those asked imagine the system to be CORRUPT. Therefore they stay home.

    • royals85

      Very cute Hegel. The evidence is in the opinions of those polled. Unless you are segregated from industrial society, then all have had contact with these institutions and their experiences form their opinions without all the minutae, which is only used to confuse the big picture.
      Example: guy/gal loses job – gets new job – wants to tag their car for $27.25 – has to go to one State agency for this – told to Assess vehicle at another State agency in another location – gets paper from this dept. told to pay at another dept. – goes to 3rd place told $242.45 can’t pay this – gets ticket for expired tag from, well another State agency for $100.00 – has to go to another State agency to pay ticket – then back through the whole process again because too much time has passed and can’t use the old paperwork – now it is, with gas and late fees = $437.35 + 10 visits to St. agencies + $15 gas + at least 4 hours of time = very frustrated!
      Wal-Mart would get all this accomplished for $29.99, in one location, in less than 20 minutes.

      • royals85

        Forgot to include this: The $437.35 is roughly $3.22 more than guy/gal was paid over a 2 wk. period. Now, guy/gal finally realizes that he/she worked for 2 wks. to have it all taken away in 5 minutes so that 10 bureaucrats can have a job, run them through a maze like someone does a mouse and sneer/laugh at them when they become angry. As Mel Brooks used to say…”its good to be the king”

  • Deck chairs on the Titantic

    Yah, it’s no longer “It’s the economy, stupid.” It’s the corruption. All the deals made in Washington, the legalized bribery, eventually overwhelmed the foundation of government, which derives its legitimacy from the people, with their informed consent. The courts are corrupt. The press corpse is corrupt. The legislators are corrupt. The presidency is corrupt. The regulators are corrupt. The entire system revolves around putting in a few million in “donations” to extract billions from the people, without their consent, but they do not have the money to influence the corrupt bastards selling them out.

    Television is corrupt. The coverage of this joke of an election was pathetically skewed towards disenfranchising citizens further. They go on and on about the Hispanic vote, a number swelled by not enforcing borders, aka protecting the rights of people of all colors already here. So according to teevee, both parties have no choice but to cater to immigrants, but they can ignore the 90 million citizens – of all races – here who are too beat down to even bother to fill out a ballot. No irony that all the talk of “we’re a land of immigrants” involves ignoring the native born?

    I’m beginning to think I’d cheer to see tanks roll down Pennsylvania Ave. At least then we’d only have a 98% chance of being screwed instead of 100%.

    • Jessy S

      And hopefully those tanks get the President out of office.

      • edward97212

        Congress most importantly.

  • Mr Mojo

    When your only choice is between two lying criminals it sort of takes the incentive out taking the time and effort to vote.

  • How Stupid

    We all want to find some good outcome in the 2012 election. Here is one of them. Karl Rove is kaput.

  • Mary 4 RP

    What kind of trowl is corrupting the “journalists”? They do not mention Dr. Ron Paul, the greatest statesman of our century. Where are you George Orwell, when we need you.

  • Meh

    In 2010, the voters came out to tell the Dems that we were fed up with them and their not representing us. . In 2012, people stayed home to tell both parties we are fed up with their not representing us. What did they expect?

  • Meh

    I hereby declare the GOP dead. They died in a bubble created by the Rush Limbaughs of the world.

  • buddhaboy

    Even little school children understand that if they give the schoolyard bully any clues as to where they are most vulnerable, the bully will immediately use that information against them. Unfortunately, adult humans don’t seem capable of the same reasoning. Voting reveals all of the ellectorate’s collective hopes and fears to the state. As the quintessential bully, the state has no interest whatsoever in fulfilling those hopes nor alleviating those fears.

  • Rich H

    The republicans lost because, among other things, they were/are the “rape is o.k.” party. All of those citing Ron Paul and stating we “stayed home” are deluding themselves. The republicans lost because they represent Nothing other than Rich, Racist, White people – and those who envision a moderate conservative party are living on past memories. The republicans as presently constituted showcase nothing other their absolute corruptability and outdated ideas which have been proven to be inefective – and indeed detrimental, to the functioning of a well run democracy.
    Are the democrats better? Well, they are better than that.

  • Rich H

    The republicans lost because, among other things, they were/are the “rape is o.k.” party. All of those citing Ron Paul and stating we “stayed home” are deluding themselves. The republicans lost because they represent Nothing other than Rich, Racist, White people – and those who envision a moderate conservative party are living on past memories. The republicans as presently constituted showcase nothing other their absolute corruptability and outdated ideas which have been proven to be inefective – and indeed detrimental, to the functioning of a well run democracy.
    Are the democrats better? Well, they are better than that.

    • GreatScott

      And what evidence do you have to support your claim demorats are better than that?

  • edward97212

    Both parties are the ONE party of corruption. Ron Paul, the man, is a rock-star forever.

  • Paul Farah

    YAY! We are 42.5% of the way to the goal of 0% voting. When people stay home in droves, then the politicians can no longer say “we represent you.”
    I see comment after comment that “corruption” is to blame. But corruption is endemic to government systems, since ALL governments are based upon stealing, murder, and lies. It does not really matter how the leaders are chosen, whether by birth, or by election, or directly from the barrel of a gun; ALL governments are criminal organizations.

  • hollyhocks

    It’s “fewer people”, not “less people” voted, shot brain!

  • Karen

    Never Vote! One is only feeding the beast. It is way past the time for the American people to turn our backs on government. The word government means mind control and they have been in control of more than that. A society of voluntaryism, or self-rule is the way to go. No government has ever worked out for any significant amount of time. They always end like Caligula/Roman empire. Or the government committing democide like the former Soviet Union, China, North Korea to name a few.

    The ‘authority’ of the government is an illusion, meaning a group of people can commit crimes against others that a non-governmentally attached person cannot. The government murders, steals(taxes) lies and commits every other form of trespass. If I were to put a gun to the head of my neighbor demanding he give me 100 dollars from his paycheck every week, I would be committing a crime. Only this American federal government can get away with such things. And the murders now going on in the Middle East unfortunately will come back to rest on our heads, the people.

    So because I did not vote, I am not consenting to their crimes and corruption. We do not need a government to rule OVER us. We are the majority. Let us take our power back and take the air out of their balloon.

  • Russell Lawrence Benford

    Read the book “Lies, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness”
    8 Chapters/545 Pages: education, criminal justice system/prison industrial complex, politics, social psychology, historical analysis, economics and banking, current events, environmental health/nutrition and the medical industry, world affairs—it’s all inside! Coming soon this holiday season!!

  • Randy Fricke

    In the recent U.S. (P)residential Erection nearly 48% of eligible voters didn’t vote. Roughly 27% voted for Obama and 25% for Romney. That means that in a democracy, those who didn’t vote are in the majority which means that no one should have been elected. So much for democracy…