Psychiatric patients and the federal election

Can J Psychiatry. 1991 Mar;36(2):124-5. doi: 10.1177/070674379103600210.


A questionnaire was sent to all eligible voters at the St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital prior to the November 1988 election. It measured political awareness and knowledge. A further subgroup of patients who were eligible to vote but chose not to be enumerated were also questioned to explore their reasons for not voting. The results showed patients had a high level of knowledge about our political process. We conclude that previous laws banning voting by psychiatric patients were unnecessarily discriminatory and efforts should be made to give voting rights to patients in other countries where they are not allowed to vote.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness*
  • Commitment of Mentally Ill / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Hospitals, Psychiatric
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Ontario
  • Patient Advocacy / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Politics*