Oh yes, I am in a bit of a scolding mood this morning, and the object of my vituperation is that substantial group of Canadians who demonstrate their apolitical natures by sitting out elections.
You know who you are: the ones with an array of excuses for not rousing yourselves from the couch - I'm not a political person, I don't understand politics, there's no one to vote for, they're all the same, they get elected and then forget their constituents, they're only in it for themselves, etc. etc. ad nauseam.
All of these trifling justifications for apathy and indolence ignore one very important fact: politics is not an arcane science accessible to the few; politics, in fact, permeates almost every aspect of our lives, and the decisions of those who don't have the time of day to consider voting influence everything from the minimum-wage job they or their son or daughter or spouse may be working in to the healthcare they receive to the livability of the community they reside in. Ultimately, as Tip O'Neil once said, "All politics is local."
My reflections were prompted by two stories in today's Star, both of which are shown side-by-side in the online edition. One is about how Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is faring in the polls, and the other details preposterous allegations that the latest job figures released in the U.S. showing a decline in joblessness is attributable to Obama's people 'cooking the books.'
First to the Ford poll. While the majority feel that Ford is doing a bad job, a whopping 97 per cent of hardcore Ford fans — those who voted for him in 2010 and plan to do so again — think the mayor is doing a good job providing leadership.
If you think about the implications of that figure, you may come to the conclusion that if those enthusiasts turn out in the next Toronto election and those who 'aren't interested in politics' stay home, the man epitomizing magisterial ineptitude may very well go on to a second term in the city that once called itself 'world class.'
At this juncture, one can't help but think of the hardcore true believers who gave Stephen Harper his majority, just 39.7 percent of those who bothered to go to the ballot box. Of those eligible to vote, about 40 percent stayed at home, presumably to watch the Shopping Channel or similarly diversionary 'entertainment.'
The second story, Team Obama accused of ‘cooking the books’ over employment figures, deals with accusations from the usual suspects, again those who are put into office by zealots who also subscribe to notions such as 9/11 conspiracies, faked moon landings, and underground alien bases on earth. And doubtless, as the presidential election comes every closer, this impossible manipulation of jobless figures will become gospel with that crowd who will almost certainly turn out at the ballot box to put an end to such rank government cabalistic deception.
While I realize most readers of political blogs are not likely to be the benighted souls I have described above, I have to admit this rant felt good.
And the choice of whether to embrace or ignore their duties as citizens rests, of course, with everyone.