Debates won’t shake apathy

The federal leadership debates have come and gone and after several days of over analysis the recurring theme of this year’s campaign continues to be voter apathy.

But just what is apathy and why does it seem so hard to get some Canadians to understand the value of getting out to the polls?

If you watched this week’s debates — even one of them — you’re probably interested enough in politics that you will get out and vote. The same thing can be said if you’re taking the time to read this editorial.

For those of us who cherish our democratic rights, perhaps part of our civic duty is to engage others who don’t share our enthusiasm.

There are a lot of reasons to add our voices to the clamour of thousands of others. The common excuse that one vote can’t make a difference doesn’t make sense. Democracy has never been about a single vote deciding the fate of a wider community. We vote in order to provide a push in the direction we want  government to go.

The ballot booth is not a place for an all or nothing approach. It takes time and effort to eventually get the great wheels of government moving. The longer you take to get started, the longer you can expect it to take for any changes to be made. This is critically important for people who feel unempowered by the system. As if every party is a shade of grey and any change in government only results in subtle and superficial change. The truth is, even mainstream parties have divisively different platforms.

Part of the problem is the generally anemic discourse, as evidenced during Tuesday’s English debate. Attacking opponents on perceptions of ethical breaches and the validity of theoretical economics is great fodder for pundits but it’s not going to get the vote out.

Each of us has issues in our daily lives that are directly influenced by the federal government. Whether it’s a passionate belief in the need to change our environmental policies or a heartfelt opinion about supporting our military or legalizing marijuana, someone has to start the push for change.

– Vic News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Neighbours help Sidney woman mark 103rd birthday with surprise parade

Barbara Chorlton celebrates her ‘best birthday so far’

Racism is here too, say Victoria’s black community leaders

White Victorians have role to play in combatting systems of oppression, prejudice

Shortage of foreign workers costs Saanich Peninsula berry farmer thousands

Gobind Farms says hiring local has been difficult during pandemic

Pedestrian, cycling overpass now open at McKenzie Interchange

Bridge connects Portage Road, Galloping Goose Regional Trail

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Most Read