ny people have wondered why the public’s participation in elections has dwindled so dramatically in recent years. I believe your edition of April 26 contains at least a hint of the real answer.
In that edition, a question regarding support of the arts was asked of seven candidates for the position of MP for Nanaimo-Alberni.
In theory, a question of that nature should have insured a lively debate with significant differences between right wing or left wing candidates. In fact, it produced nothing of the sort. Every single candidate’s answer was virtually identical — all in favour of such expenditures — and there was not the slightest hint of a demurring opinion, with the exception of Frank Wagner, who also declared he is in the race only to discus the abortion issue.
With such bland, boring sameness of opinion spread across the entire political spectrum, one can easily conclude that there is not a dime’s worth of difference between the parties, so why vote at all? It appears that the only party differences relate to particularly subtle nuances relating to spending and regulations, but on the broad question of whether governments should dominate society through regulations and bureaucracies combined with complex and massive taxation, there is nothing of consequence to excite huge numbers of the Canadian populous — so they stay home in droves.
Until we have truly exciting debate, specifically including those who believe in dramatically shrinking the intrusion, complexity and dominance of government, Canadian election campaigns will remain dreary and uninspiring exercises, precisely like the one we are now enduring.
Leonard M. Melman