Why are so few Canadians voting these days?

Statistics are showing (or so we are being told) that fewer and fewer Canadians vote.  Commentators are lamenting this, some are suggesting that people who do not vote should be fined and all kinds of other nonsense.

So, why?

The reasons why the percentage of Canadians actually voting isdecreasing are really very simple:  our votes do not matter.

REALLY matter.

Oh, I understand – we get to vote in one band of politicians or another – and our votes matter in deciding which bunch gets in when.  And, some politicians are worse than others.

But that is quickly becoming minutia, a cosmetic change rather than a substantive.

Why?

Because our very system is broken.  And it is broken on multiple levels, which is why fixing it is not an easy proposition.

One level on which it is broken is the most easily visible one:  our elected representatives are supposed to be answerable to us, the citizens….but, increasingly, they are only answerable to their own party leadership!

In other words, the party system we have in Parliament and in Provincial Legislatures has tipped the balances too far toward ‘party influence’ and away from ‘voter influence’.  After all, if their nomination papers are not signed by the party leadership, a candidate must run as an independent:  and just how many of those manage to get elected?!?!?

This gives the party leaders great power of control over their elected MPs!  Too great an amount of power:  to the point that the good/will of the party is the only thing our elected officials consider when ‘representing us’.

In a very real sense, we are no longer voting for our local representatives – when we cast our votes, we are voting for one or another party.  Sure, it is still a choice to make – but it is not the choice our Parliamentary system was designed for.  It is not the one for which the ‘checks and balances’ we have built into the system were designed.  And it makes for very unresponsive government…because the policies of each party have to cover so many issues, we can only pick ‘bundle A’ vs ‘bundle B’ of good and bad things.

That is not the type of choice most people want:  picking a lot of bad things, because among them are few good things you want.  It means that no matter which party you are choosing, you are necessarily choosing some things you do not want, things you consider to be bad things.  And, by voting, you are making those bad things happen.

People don’t like that.  So, more and more don’t vote.

Because, when being forced to pick from several bad choices, most people prefer not to choose at all.

But that ‘level’ is only the most visible way in which our system is broken.

If the ‘party in power’ is the ‘what’ of the government policy, the civil service is the ‘how’.

I have personally seen and heard some high ranking civil servants explain exactly ‘how’ the elected politicians must be ‘handled’.  Real life – not Sir Humphry Appelby.  How what I thought to have been a uniquely ‘sound’ government policy which does not reflect the goals of the public service is contorted and the way it is implementation is sabotaged to the point where it not only fails, but fails in such a manner that it is obvious such an ill-conceived policy could never have worked and it failed because the politicians were too arrogant to listen to the experienced civil service experts!!!

Yes – to a degree much higher than most of us are aware of, we are being governed by a bunch of unknown, unseen, unaccountable high-level civil servants with a vision of their own:  power through regulation.

Do you ever ask why is it that representatives of various government regulatory agencies have much, much greater powers than police do?  Power to enter your property without a court order – and also without your knowledge, much less content.  Power to take your stuff away from you ‘pending their investigation’? Do you even know the full extent of their powers?

It is a stealth-totalitarianism-through-red-tape!

In a state like that, the elected politicians are increasingly little more than window dressing.  Why bother voting for them?

If I knew how to fix this, I would say so.  I don’t.  But, considering that most of these career bureaucrats have been in the public service for several decades before they have gained sufficient ‘influence’ and arrogance to sabotage policies they disagree with, I suspect we will need to bring in laws limiting the amount of time a person may serve in the public sector. Regulate the regulators, so to speak…

Sure, front line police officers and similar things – a different story.  I don’t claim this is a well developed solution – to the contrary. It is more of a niggling suspicion that has been growing for a while .

These are just two of many failures in our governance structures – pretending there is no problem is only driving voters to apathy…

What do you think?

 

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13 Responses to “Why are so few Canadians voting these days?”

  1. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    You’re exactly right: the typical Canadian is drowning in apathy, convinced there is nothing anyone can do to make things better. And that is the real problem.

    Solving the structural flaws would not actually be that difficult.

    First, strip political parties of all political and financial power, to ensure that all candidates are independents who answer only to their constituency.

    Second, outlaw all forms of political action by entities other than natural persons, to ensure that corporations and trusts cannot be part of any constituency.

    Third, outlaw all forms of lobbying and influence-peddling, and introduce strict conflict-of-interest laws to close the revolving door between government and business.

    Fourth, reduce the scope of the civil service and the number of unelected civil servants to a bare minimum by amending the Constitution to limit the federal budget to 2% of GNP.

    Fifth, make all civil service positions that matter subject to non-renewable appointment by the minister responsible, so the bureaucrats cannot outlast the politicians.

    Sixth, amend the Constitution to declare that the sole purpose of government is to equally protect the equal rights of every individual citizen.

    Seventh, amend the Charter or Rights by adding the rights to privacy, to property and to be armed, and by recognizing that rights are inalienable and inherent only to natural persons.

    These things would be easy to do if the Canadian people had the political will to see them done.

    I guess that will have to wait until they get hungry.

    But it can’t hurt to have a plan ready…

    Xanthippa says:

    CodeSlinger,

    that is ONE BIG ‘IF’!!!

    Most Canadians have not even had a thought along these lines…

    Having said this – your suggestions are sound.

  2. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Of course they haven’t.

    Such thoughts are beaten out of them in school.

    But when they get hungry, they will get desperate, so it’s important to have a plan ready to lay before them.

    You can bet the globalists do, except theirs has nothing to do with freedom or well-being of the people…

  3. Derek Says:

    To add on to what you wrote, it may not be a bad thing that there isn’t a large increase in the percentage of voters.

    In the US, there are numerous organizations that encourage younger people to register voting, as if people are serving the country by simply voting.

    Increasing the quantity of voters does nothing to improve the country, in fact, it could worsen it. I’d rather have 1 million informed voters than 10 million voters, most of them being ill or non informed.

    Instead of: “go out and vote”, the message to younger people should be: “get informed, and then vote”.

    Xan says:

    Yes!

    Absolutely!

    Now, how do we make sure the ‘young people’ are educated about the history of ideas/views and their real-life impacts, informed about the politicians and what they stand for – and not brainwashed by snappy slogans and catchy jingles….

    • Derek Says:

      Similarly to how people are wired for religion, they are wired to exploited politically. It is almost impossible to win the masses over by reason. Maybe the only possible way is to exploit people from the wrong direction and into the right direction.

      Public schools and universities are left-wing indoctrination centers. The media is left-wing. The voter registration organizations seem like they are left-wing. Each year we get a new crop of adult voters who think they are going to save the world by voting Democrat/Labor.

      Is it possible to win? Is it worth trying to save such a large quantity of people from their ignorance?

      Xan says:

      My questions exactly!!!

  4. Derek Says:

    I have answers to those questions. I’m not only talking about getting young people informed, but any movement to try to change politics or religion. You may not like these answers, but this is my honest opinion:

    1. It’s not worth trying saving humanity as a whole from their ignorance. Best to focus on living our own lives to the fullest and protecting ourselves rather than worrying about millions of strangers who don’t care about us and are impervious to reason.

    2. We don’t have a deontological duty to save people from their ignorance.

    3. Whether you like it or not, no matter how much we try to change politics and religion, we will have a negligible effect. Even if we devote our whole lives to ending socialism and religion, it will be just about the same as if we did nothing. Call me a defeatist if you want, but whether you like it or not it’s the truth.

    4. There is no reward for embarking on such a campaign. People don’t appreciate it. It restricts social opportunity. It conflicts with other interests. If we want to attend to some cause, why not attend to a cause that has universal approval and tangible results such as helping sick children?

    I await your response?

    Xanthippa says:

    You sound like a true idealist!!! And, please, try to stay an idealist for as long as possible! (Sorry if this sounds patronizing or matronizing – I don’t mean to do that. I am simply lamenting the loss of my own idealism.)

    My motivations in attempting to try to alter the social discourse are not altruistic in any way. I am not attempting to change the world to make it a better place simply for the change of sake of ‘all the people out there’.

    Doing that for these motivations would make me no different than the liberal fascists!!!

    I am not arrogant enough to want to change people for their own sake.

    Rather, my motivation is pure and undilluted self-interest.

    The current reality is that our liberties are being eroded. OUR liberties are being infringed upon by ever intrusive and increasingly totalitarian governments. These are MY liberties TODAY – and my CHILDREN’s liberties today AND tomorrow!!!

    Sure, one single voice does not usually make a huge difference….

    …except when it does!

    So, when does it count?

    There are several ways. One is to be ‘one of many’. And, right now, there are indeed MANY people who feel personally threatened by the ever encroaching erosion of our liberties: hearing my voice will, hopefully, give them the courage and opportunity to add their voice to mine. Eventually, it will not be one voice bitching but thousands or hundreds of thousands of voices howling for change.

    But this will not happen unless there are those who start it. I hope to be one of these. Not a famous thinker, but an unknown voice that happened to be heard by a few who joined it, took up the ‘howl’ and did not stop until the faceless multitude was heard.

    Sure, this is a bit ironic: the militant individualist wants to be one of a multitude of faceless and unidentifiable voices.

    The important bit is that, if this does not work, I have lost nothing more than the effort I have put into this – a very small loss. But, if it DOES work – the payoff is immense, for me and my children and my children’s children and so on! (Yes, I do think that we are simply one possible expression of our genes, and our most imperative duty is to our genetic heritage and to preparing the most optimal conditions to permit our genetic heritage to propagate.)

    Now, while I am not arrogant enough to think I can change the world myself, I do hope that, perhaps, my support and encouragement will permit other, braver and greater minds than mine to become the individuals who DO change the world.

    And, let’s face it – no matter how large the human population is, it is made up of individuals and the right individual at the right place, at the right time, DOES affect the course of all of humanity, for better or worse. I am sure you can name at least 20 who have done so in recent history.

    We do not live in a vacuum. Pretending things are not bad does not make it true. This very blog got ‘frozen’ last week because of an anonymous complaint, silencing me without permitting me any argument or appeal. If we do not speak up, this will only become worse, dissenting voices will be silenced, historical works that do not support current social engineering trends will dissappear – robbing the people of the foundations of reason on which to build their lives.

    We cannot pretend that the current trends do not rob us of our innate liberties – and that without these liberties, we and our genetic descendants cannot thrive to our highest potential.

    Not taking up the fight to restore our innate liberties is a betrayal of our children as well as our selves!

    • Derek Says:

      Me, an idealist? I guess it depends on what is meant by an idealist. I am not Don Quixote. I am opposed to deontology, as objective universal morality doesn’t exist. But if by idealist you mean someone who abides by principles and doesn’t abandon them for temporary convenience because they are well aware how a slippery slope works, then I am an idealist in that regard.

      I never deemed you to be an altruist. Altruism is a logically incoherent concept and is impossible. Acts of charity are done for individual benefit, as we agree, such as alleviating guilt or gaining a sense of importance.

      How would I confront a statist government. I will not fight. I am not afraid. I do not fear it. I am above it, and will not engage with it. It’s wishful thinking at best to say it is a feasible possibility to eliminate socialism and religion. I would build a fort to protect myself and those closest to me. I won’t try to spread myself thin by worrying about millions of other people. I’ll concentrate my efforts in a local area rather than trying to distribute it worldwide. I’ll live, enjoy myself, fulfill my desires, until my death. I just need enough gasoline to fill the car until the end of the race, and that’s all. Selfish? Yes, but aren’t we all.

      Tragedy of the commons, I know. Collectively, the action can be done, but individually, it is better to not. It’s sad, but it’s true. Maybe all the sign-waving, and blog-writing, and campaigning will pay off, and you’ll be the voice that starts the domino effect of freedom. Or you could be spending all that effort to achieve the same result, as I who will rise above the conflict. But if it fulfills your desires, to influence people into your direction, then its worth it.

      Despite, all this. I’m an optimist. :)

      Xanthippa says:

      Derek, I think you misread what I said: I am not an altruist. All that I am doing is completely in ‘self-interest’!

      The problem is that whether I like it or not, the laws are so intrusive that I CANNOT build a protective wall around myself and do my own thing – you are no longer permitted to put up walls without building permits….

      And – what CodeSlinger says in the next comment….

      • Derek Says:

        Xan, I don’t think I misread. I agreed (in my last post)with you that what you are doing is in what you see to be your self-interest, as am I. And not altruism, because altruism is logically incoherent.

        Despite all the negative things I said, they are not what I focus on.

        Regarding Codeslinger’s second sentence: of course it would be great if that were possible, but people are hard-wired to be exploited politically, as they are to be exploited religiously. If people were reasonable, we wouldn’t have statist governments. Tragedy of the commons, unfortunately, but its simply not possible to change masses. Many people are well aware that the system is a sham, far from ignorant, realize that is not possible to change, and not worth trying to, so they silently move on with their lives.

        Sad, but true.

        Xan says:

        But – change DOES happen!

        And it takes place when people refuse to submit to ‘status quo’ – perhaps one at a time, perhaps not.

        History books are filled with examples…

  5. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    Yes! Exactly!

    It’s already to the point where I can’t live the way I want anymore without breaking the law or changing it.

    Therefore, the law must be changed.

    Derek:

    This is not a fight you can walk away from. They will bring it to you.

    There is only one way to win, and that is to motivate all those “ignorant” and “unappreciative” people to stand beside you.

  6. CodeSlinger Says:

    Derek:

    You are quite right that charity begins at home. But it shouldn’t end there.

    Simple human kindness and regard for your fellow man are impossible to understand or justify by reason alone. But without them, the human condition becomes intolerable.

    So be careful not to let your reason overshadow your compassion.

  7. CodeSlinger Says:

    Derek:

    You say that people are hard-wired to be exploited.

    But in fact, people are hard-wired to love and to hate, to want and to fear, to dominate and to submit. These things make them suited to live in community with each other. But these things make them vulnerable to exploitation.

    And this is the evil of the organized collective, whether it be church, or state, or something else: it takes the things that make us human and make life worth living, and it twists them into chains of servitude and bondage.

    So I say, don’t despise people for being vulnerable to exploitation.

    Despise the collective for exploiting their vulnerability.

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