Thursday, March 22, 2012

Discouragements to Democratic Participation

The litany of abuses, even crimes, against democracy committed by the Harper government is indeed long. Probably the gravest damage done by this regime, and I believe the damage is intentional, is to alienate increasing numbers of citizens from the electoral process.

In his column today, Bob Hepburn, in writing about the renewal of attack ads Harper is so famous for, has this to say:

Indeed, since he became Prime Minister, Harper has lowered the overall standard on what is acceptable in Canadian politics. He has allowed his attack dogs to operate with impunity, taking his cue from poisonous American campaigns. With his new ad, Harper is clearly signalling he believes “going negative” is the only way of winning and he is not about to stop.

For years, political scientists in Canada and the U.S. have argued that the growing use of negative ads, which topped 60 per cent of all ads in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, fosters lower voter turnout and a loss of trust in governments.

While others may seek a deeper strategy behind these despicable ads, I sincerely believe that their main purpose is to do just that, foster lower voter turnout so that a strong turnout by their own rabid supporters ensures a Conservative majority in perpetuity.

I have said this before, and I'll say it again: the damage this regime is doing to our democratic traditions renders it roundly and manifestly unfit to govern.

No comments:

Post a Comment