Letter: Alienation to apathy to electoral paralysis

With the provincial election ahead of us, the old adage of “bad politicians are elected by bad citizens who do not vote” comes to mind.

To the editor:

Re: Important To Get Young People To Vote, Allan Coyle column, April 11 Capital News.

With the provincial election ahead of us, the old adage of “bad politicians are elected by bad citizens who do not vote” comes to mind.

That’s why it’s important for all citizens and particularly for young people to give meaning to their citizenship and vote.

It’s been said that in a democracy decisions are made by a majority of the people. That really is not true. Instead, decisions are made by a majority of those people who make themselves heard and who vote.

Just about half of eligible voters in B.C. stayed away from the polls in the 2009 provincial election. Worse even, only 27 per cent of registered young eligible voters, aged 18 to 24, bothered to go to the polls to affirm their           right and, some may say, their duty as citizens.

Perhaps our political journey from alienation to apathy to virtual electoral paralysis reveals that, indeed, there once was a time when we did care enough and that, in an odd way, apathy in itself has now become a formidable political statement.

That said, it was Dan Quayle (former vice-president of the United States, serving with the elder George H.W. Bush 1989-1993) who has been credited with discovering the “real” reason for low voter turnout when he revealed: “A low voter turnout is an indication of fewer people going to the polls.”

E.W. Bopp,

Tsawwassen