Comment 43743

By jasonaallen (registered) - website | Posted July 21, 2010 at 09:31:53

@mystoneycreek - I too used to feel your cynicism. After my first experience in politics (in Student Leadership in Alberta) I came away totally jaded, and felt that not only did the average person not care about issues that were really important (to me), but that their opinion was actually dangerous, as it was knee-jerk, uninformed, and easily swayed by corporate marketing or PR spin.

I have mellowed in my interpretation of this somewhat. I agree that people want to send elected officals off to city hall, or Queen's Park, or Parliament to do the deciding for them. Representative Democracy works well for many of the reasons you describe. However I also feel that when those officials make fundamentally bad decisions (in the eyes of enough of the people they represent), it's not too hard to make a case for change.

I don't know if you attended the meeting that probably spawned the HCL, when Annie (forget her last name) from Guelph Civic league came and discussed what and how they had accomplished something amazing - raising the voter turnout in Guelph to near 50%. Yes that's pathetic, as far as voter turnout goes, but for Guelph it was a huge first step. I remain hopefull that with enough hard work and persistence, we can get the numbers up here as well.

Meanwhile, I upvoted your comment because I feel it represents the opinion of a great number of people - but it's just another variation on the "I can't make a difference" theme many of us want to change.

Comment edited by jasonaallen on 2010-07-21 08:35:21

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