Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Further on Civic Disengagement

One theme embedded in the somewhat rambling musings of my previous post was the question of voter apathy as it relates to party politics. So it was a nice bit of serendipity when I ran across this article in the Regina Leader-Post concerning this very issue, in which the author posits the following:

"...the Age of Distraction in which we now live surely hasn't made life easier for our political leadership, which has traditionally preferred an engaged, mobilized electorate."

I disagree, sir.

I am influenced here by Al Gore's excellent "The Assault on Reason", but after spending no small amount of time amongst politicos of every stripe I can tell you from personal experience that political strategists COUNT ON having a disengaged electorate.

Think about it. What's easier? Developing and communicating a policy platform that would actually provide a coherent, long-term plan for the nation that (God forbid) some subsequent government might take credit for and which benefits the vast majority of largely middle-class and poor voters? Or just play to the base, push their buttons through disinformation, bigotry and fear, sell them on some placebo that you have no intention of following through on, and then bus them en masse into the polling stations on election day from whatever church, union hall or mosque they happen to be gathered in while those fussy undecided voters just get fed up and stay home?

This is what they want. They don't want you to pay attention. They don't want you to inform yourself. They don't want you to notice anything they do except when they're jumping up and down and clamouring for your attention. They don't even want you to vote unless your one of the unthinking Party Faithful - for their party, of course. And I'm not exempting anyone here. I can guarantee that these calculations are as much a part of the NDP's strategy as that of the Conservatives and Liberals.

So. To the question posed at the beginning of the Leader-Post article, "Did voters become uninterested because of today's duplicitous, self-interested politicians or did uninterested voters create today's duplicitous, self-interested politicians?"

The answer, for the most part, is B. Although, for the most part, it isn't the politicians themselves who are the biggest problem.

The solution? Get informed. Get involved. Get active. Then get in your friends' faces with it. I don't even care which party you pick - just do it for the right reasons.

Imagine if even a third of the voting public did that.


  1. You just proposed a Nightmare for the mismanagers of the world.

  2. I find your blog very interesting. I am one of those uninterested voters you speak of. You may hold that against me as I hold it against myself. Was just internet surfing to try and educate myself on Bill C-51 when I cam across you blog. Glad I did.