Comment 13581

By ventrems (registered) | Posted October 30, 2007 at 20:30:09

The 52% turnout comment hit on something I was "arguing" about last night with my girlfriend and I had to comment.

I know we all hate to see those numbers because it essentially suggests that people do not care about political issues, but what if we put it in perspective? We live in a great country, arguably the best in the world. We have a high quality of life, safety, security, jobs, money, relatively honest government, fair and equitable justice, universal health care... and I could go on. The majority of us are not dying of disease, starvation, or war. We are, in fact, generally very happy and well off. What this all amounts to is that most people do not feel impassioned to stand up and speak, argue, or vote. People are content with their lives, and many probably do not have strong opinions on the day-to-day political arguments that emerge in a typical democracy as is ours. I wonder if more young people would vote if conscription was an election issue...

Now, I don't know if this idea fully explains the low voter turnouts, but it certainly explains some. We've lost passion for the process because the process has become business as usual. When things get rocky, that's when people start having opinions and getting angry. Think of union meetings (for those of you familiar with them). How many people show up to the regularly scheduled meetings? How many show up when there's a potential strike? I think that's what has happened to our country.

A obvious consequence is that low turnout is usually explained by voter apathy, but this theory would argue just the opposite.

OK... Let's hear it...

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