|Posted by c.smallz on Nov 07, 2007
|I can't speak for a lot of folks, but in my own opinion I think that there are three main reasons why I wouldn't vote or why I would think that someone else wouldn't vote.
For the record - I have voted in every election I have been eligible for - although I abstained from voting for mayor in the last election because of my disdain for both Miller and Pitfield (and my mistrust with all the other candidates).
Three reasons why people don't vote:
1. Representational Democracy is representative of a specific demographic - generally in the interests of big business, upper/upper middle class. They have the money to campaign and take time off work and get exposure and leaves working and lower middle class people (and also immigrants, people of colour, youth, women) highly under represented. And even if people are physical representative in general their policies and politics side with the wealthy and those already entrenched in power. If they don't they are generally neutralized or made to look insane. See most recently the case of Molalai Joya in the Afghanistan parliament.
2. Our education system breeds disinterest and disempowers people. We make it seem that the civil rights movement happened because some super human named Martin Luther King brought black people out of oppression - instead of focusing on the ongoing struggle in communities (both radical/militant struggle and community/academic struggle) . All people are told is that there are 3-4 parties and that they have to choose one - like a survey in the back of a teen magazine or something.
What colour do you prefer?
Who do you think is most dreamy?
Jack Layton (porn star mustache and all)
3. There are no political parties that reflect my views and beliefs. I have voted NDP in the past - considered voting for the CPC-ML this election (as I knew one of the candidates in the Toronto Centre Riding - he got 0.31% of the vote) - but realistically it is very difficult to build a grassroots party that actually is rooted in the community. Though I do believe that the Reform party actually did have those types of characteristics - but the beliefs they held were easy to rally around (racism, xenophobia, homophobia, abolition of senate, anti-abortion, capital punishment, jesus and stuff) - folks get really riled up around hate parties. I think our "democratic" process is meant to push out anything that does not help make the rich richer in this country - and that is why each time I go to the ballot box I seriously consider opting out. I do not blame anyone for non-voting. I think sometimes you can contribute to democracy in ways that aren't ballot based - including organizing movements, community organizations, educational seminars and grassroots political parties....
That's my $.10C - $.111US