‘Asinine subjects’ keep voters down

In his novel Seeing, the 1998 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Jose Saramago, proposes an interesting option for voter apathy

Re: Politics is not entertainment (Opinion, March 14)

In his novel Seeing, the 1998 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Jose Saramago, proposes an interesting option for voter apathy and rebellion: voting in mass, but in blank.

Voter apathy reflects the disconnection existing between the electorate and a political system based on narrow partisan loyalties, personalities, popcorn-and-fluff, showbiz, glitz, and plenty of money whereby differences among parties are mostly cosmetic. The elites donate to all political parties indistinctly because none of the parties represents a serious threat of change to the status quo.

Voters have freely elected Brian Mulroney, Jean Chretien, Rob Ford, Bill Vander Zalm and others who have taken us to wars of aggression, removed social safety nets, privatized our infrastructure, destroyed our national industry, created homelessness, closed hospitals and made soup kitchens necessary.

In free societies, such as Canada, controlling people by open violence is not necessary when other ideological means are available that are far more subtle and successful than a bayonet or a club.

A population immersed in asinine subjects such TV shows, mindless sports, gossip journalism and sensationalist crime stories cannot possibly be expected to be discerning and alert when it comes to identifying the differences between competing political and class interests, including their own interest. Any political system that can form a federal “majority” government with 39 per cent of the votes in elections where 40 per cent of the people did not vote is a system that lacks legitimacy and can only exist by using deceit, manipulation and money.

Voting is not the problem: lack of imagination, political education and civic culture is.

Carlos Flores

 

Victoria

 

 

Just Posted

Many teens unaware if they’re vaping nicotine or not

Health Canada survey finds many youth are unaware of the risks of using nicotine products

UVic partners with harm reduction groups to run a drug checking pilot project

The three-year pilot will allow people to test their drugs for fatal ingredients like fentanyl

Public asked to give feedback on proposed protection measures for southern resident orcas

Measures focus on key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey, noise or physical disturbance

Oak Bay double murder trial enters second week

Defence continues to question police handling of crime scene

Volunteers needed for annual Mother’s Day walk

Breast Cancer Society of Canada hosts annual Mother’s Day event

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Most Read