Monday, April 16, 2012

The Cost of Political Disengagement

Thanks to LeDaro's link, I was able to catch up on the At Issues panel that I missed on Thursday night. While the discussion revolved largely around the F-35 debacle, the point I found most discouraging was the statistic that only 30-35% of Canadians follow politics at all. It is a shockingly low number for a democracy, one that, of course, has allowed Harper and his acolytes to begin to wreak havoc on our traditional way of life.

It is indescribably sad that the majority of Canadians see politics as something distinct from and essentially irrelevant to their lives, rather than one of the main determinants of its quality. Those of us who write political blogs are very much aware of this fact, but the conundrum with which we perpetually wrestle is how to communicate that to the wider population.

Perhaps part of the answer is implied in Tim Harper's column today in The Star. Entitled Conservative government fights to keep budget cuts in the ‘back office’, the piece examines the ramifications of the elimination of civil service jobs while the government paradoxically insists that no front-line services will be affected. This past week, both the public service unions and Tom Mulcair have rather effectively attacked this risible assertion.

Perhaps if enough scrutiny is given to the issue, we can see an increase in the abysmal statistic I mentioned at the start of this post.

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