Rick Mercer gets out the vote on Power & Politics
'Voting is contagious,' comedian says of #VoteNation social media initiative
Comedian Rick Mercer is using social media to motivate Canadians to head to the polls next week.
"It's an initiative to get everyone to vote, but obviously young people are a target," Mercer told Rosemary Barton on CBC News Network's Power & Politics in an interview airing Sunday.
His online #VoteNation campaign encourages Canadians to imprint a photo with "I Will Vote 2015" and share it on social media.
- 5 things to know about voter identification
- Youth voting: 1st-time voters weigh in on youth engagement
- Advance polls produce long lines, complaints over wait times
- Rick Mercer: youth vote could 'change the country'
- Youth vote campaigns wasted on the young?
"It's already been a tremendous success," Mercer said. "Something like 140,000 Canadians have done it and it's showing up more and more on Facebook."
"The idea is, if you're a voter, talk about it," Mercer adds. "Voting is contagious."
In 2011, for the 41st federal general election, 38.8 per cent of eligible 18- to 24-year-olds voted.
By contrast, the overall average was 61.1 per cent according to Statistics Canada.
The funnyman, whose CBC hit show Rick Mercer Report recently launched its thirteenth season, said he hopes the campaign will help hold voters to accountability.
"Obviously it's not binding, but if you go out and say it, put it on social media, I think you're more likely to [vote]," he said.
"Maybe we're shaming them into voting, I don't know, but as long as [people] vote, I don't care," he joked.
Mercer also talked about the pros and cons of the long campaign, why he thinks the leaders' debates weren't a success, and why he predicts that the final week is going to "take an ugly turn."
Watch the full interview in the player.