Comment 97852

By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted February 23, 2014 at 12:57:28 in reply to Comment 97813

One does have to always consider the tactics of poor bashing that are used. It was very evident this tactic was used Dec 2012 in regard to the dissolution of the community start up,the roundtable which invited low income people yet they were not suppose to speak.

Absolutely. But I think this goes to the point I'm trying to make: If we don't vote, our voices are marginalized. They can safely ignore us.

I used Sara Mayo's map and comment because she plotted voter participation on a map and because she identified the feedback loop:

... those on the margins feel that the political system does not reflect their priorities and they become more disenchanted.

It is common practice for governments to simultaneously claim to be listening while shutting out marginalized voices. But if we want to be heard, whether it be poverty, transit, environment, or education, then we had better be prepared to make the effort to vote because, at the end of the day, it is what amplifies our collective voices.

Also you must consider the rhetoric that has been created about low income people since the 1990's,MSM,those journalists who we are constantly told are moral,ethical and have intergity ,no matter whether it was print,radio or TV delivered the political messaging.

At risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I think a large part of that is deliberate. If one follows recent news and recent election campaigns, especially at the federal level, there has been an unmistakable effort at voter suppression by the current governing party. To be certain, all parties engage in a degree of voter suppression. The game is to get your supporters out and persuade your opponent's to stay home. However, in my observation, this effort has taken a turn toward the extreme with criminal allegations of fraud and investigations by police and Elections Canada.

The reason a party, particularly an ideologically driven party, would seek to suppress voters is to both win elections and to disproportionately amplify the voice of its political base. And I think we are witness to that with a majority government formed with a 61% voter turnout in the last federal election and the demonization of opponents of government as well as the use of government agencies and institutions as a weapon against organized opponents (see the CRA investigation of environmental charities) that degrade our democratic values.

So I would suggest to governments that seek and maintain power through the politics of exploiting and widening social fractures, isolating, marginalizing, and alienating those who are likely to disagree with your policies would be considered good politics.

To counter that, those of us who do disagree with policies or who simply seek a change in direction, it is not enough to protest on the street, attend meetings, or write letters. We must also ensure we use the ballot box to amplify our own voices and get them counted.


Comment edited by ViennaCafe on 2014-02-23 13:01:32

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