The CBC did present to their listeners, during the after-lunch program – the question of the possible danger to democracy caused by low voters turnout. God bless, aunt CBC!
Democracy, today ? We have killed democracy probably forty years ago, it is just the structure and memories of democracy and the lack of ambition of our leaders that still provide us with some liberty.
Why don’t people vote?
Take provincial elections. Why should we bother to vote for entities with no power, and in most cases, no reason to exist. NS, New Brunswick, PEI, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, have populations of a middle-sized town. They provide the same services – e.g. driving licenses – and get their money from daddy Fed. Voters have long understood that these entities are useless, costly exercises in ego massage for second, sorry, fourth rate politicians – dog catcher level.
If we want people to vote we need a new federal structure, with five provinces BC, the West, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic and New Foundland (small but with a very distinct social and cultural structure) plus two City/Provinces: Toronto and Montreal. Each with a solid financial base and a mandate to experiment, to innovate, to take risks. Then we will vote.
Take the system. In Nova Scotia last election the three parties got close to the same vote, 20-30% of voters . Only sixty percent of the eligible voters did vote. So some simple math:
40% of all eligible voters said: the hell with you people
20% of all eligible voters chose the winner.
40% of all eligible voters chose the losers.
The new premier has the support of 20% of adult Nova Scotians and has been told to take a hike by 80% of them. And he claims to have a mandate to govern! CBC where are you, in Poland?
You know what the 40% who did not vote said: “please go away, bring back the Queen”. Or something like that.
Take the leaders: Look at the federal scene. The PC (my old party – yes, I was a candidate in two federal elections) after having been led by a has-been is now led by a callow youth with the life experience of an embryo. Forget the Alliance and the Bloc: they are history. The NDP can never get a leader with brains. And brains are needed to succeed: politic is a serious game. And the Liberals! They are putting a man in charge who has managed not to offer one single, solitary policy; only platitudes. Why bother to vote?
And finally look at the media. We are living one of the most dangerous periods of recent history. The US is lead by a confused bunch of tired and vindictive people supported by an even more confused coalition of military, capital and religious quacks. Europe cannot manage to pull itself together and is sinking in senile dementia – which sane person could ever vote for Berlusconi? In Africa millions are starving and dying of AIDS and company. Jews and Arabs are killing each other happily bringing close the day of another holocaust. And we, … well we have abandoned elderly, directionless youth, drugs, …
But what are the media get excited about? At the local level by the need for a better sidewalk for the school. School which has been there for decades, and no growth of population. At the federal level by gay marriage. Anybody there interested to cover restructuring of our state, electoral law, care for the elderly, the pathetic state of our roads, infringement of our personal liberty, …. ?
The media have brought politics to the level of a sit-com (see election reporting), the candidates for office carefully restrain from offering ideas to avoid upsetting the voters, … well why should we vote.