Many Indigenous communities and people feel that they won’t impact a federal election. This could not be further from the truth.
If the AFN is correct, the Indigenous impact will be significant in 52 ridings. It can even determine the outcome of the election. Consider this:
In the 2006 federal election the seat distribution was: Conservative 124 / Liberal 103 / Bloc Q 51 / NDP 29
In the 2008 federal election the seat distribution was: Conservative 143 / Liberal 77 / Bloc Q 49 / NDP 37
In the 2011 federal election the seat distribution was: Conservative 166 / NDP 103 / Liberal 34 / Bloc Q 4 / Green 1
No one assumes that the Indigenous vote will vote as one block and, again, I encourage people to vote for the candidate that they think will represent them.
That said, if the Indigenous Vote did show up in record or near-record numbers and voted relatively similarly, the impact on the Canadian electoral landscape would be HUGE!
The Indigenous Vote could determine the next government. But what is most important here – and we can’t lose track of this: the candidate who wins the election will pay attention to Indigenous issues going forward if they see a huge Indigenous turnout.