Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Who has time to vote, we have to see if Palin does something funny!

Now that the Canadian federal election is over, and we are back to where we started, it's time for conversation to turn again to why more people don't vote in this country. With a precedent-setting 59.1% voter turnout, I am ashamed in a way that 2/5 of my compatriots don't feel strongly enough about their nation to exercise their democratic rights.

Perhaps more so, however, is my frustration that more Canadians seem to care at present about the upcoming American election, than the one we just had here. Putting aside the comparison between campaign times, (this Canadian election took just over a month between being announced and having the result), it really bothers me that many Canadians seem to be much more interested in the politics of a nation that's not their own. A recent clip from The Hour quizzes Canadians on this on the street and shows it quite well.

Perhaps the best example of this problem was with the Canadian English-Language debate, which by unfortunate luck happened to occupy the same time slot as the American vice-presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden. Many Canadians opted to watch this American showdown, instead of the more relevant Canadian leaders' debate, which was the only real chance to see the leaders speak this term for most people. t really concerns me that Canadians are more concerned with who is elected in the States when who is elected here will have a much greater impact on their day-to-day lives.

Perhaps for that 40.9% of voters politics are just entertainment. Or maybe they just don't care. Either way, it bodes ill for the future, as there will eventually come a day when this sort of thing matters. If we continue to be complacent about our government, we'll regret it sooner than some may think.

No comments: