Moncton city council wants to change the pattern of declining voter turnout in municipal elections.

It has formed a panel to look at why fewer people are voting.


Coun. Daniel Bourgeois' motion calling for a panel to study declining voter turnout in the city was approved by city council. (CBC)

In 1992, the voter turnout in Moncton's municipal election was more than 50 per cent.  Twenty years later, that figure had dropped to 33 per cent.

"When you have 33 per cent voter turnout there's something very wrong with the system, so you need to make some adjustments," said Coun. Daniel Bourgeois.

"Let's hope that the panel can come up with good ideas and we can deliberate and see which ones we can implement."

Bourgeois put forward the motion for a panel to be created to look at the issue.

"We used to have the majority of Monctonians who voted 20 years ago and now its below a third so it's very concerning," he said. "If we don't start addressing it now who knows where it will lead us.

"It's too dangerous and it's too valuable a commodity this thing we call democracy to let it flutter away."

Bougeois said he'd like most of the members of the panel to be "regular citizens who care about democracy."

Council hopes the panel will be ready to present its findings and recommendations before next December.