Turnout was pathetic

Conservative majority of 24 per cent

There was no friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) in Qualicum Beach; certainly not in the households of two of the letter-writers (The News, May 13) who call that quaint little faux-Dickensian village home. 

No doom, gloom nor fear for them, as they seemed to believe that the recent federal election victory of their Conservative Party will result in a complete cessation of all precipitation, all the birds in all the trees will be singing, and peace will break out all over. 

However, as only 24 per cent of the eligible electorate bothered to vote for the party forming the majority government, it was definitely a pyrrhic victory for democracy in Canada.

With apathy the demon that raises its ugly head yet again, it does not bode well for any of us for the prime minister to be a pathetic Mr. 24 per cent. When the last election in Iraq drew only 62 per cent turn-out, excuses were made that voters feared Sunni and Shia militias; I heard no reports of Kalashnikov-toting militiamen hiding behind the rhododendrons and magnolias near our voting places on May 2.

Since the days of steam radio I’ve written letters expressing dismay at voter apathy, and many variations have been printed, attempting to coerce citizens to exercise their franchise. Readers with attention spans longer than that of a fruit-fly, will remember the havoc wreaked upon the residents of Parksville when a mayor dubbed Ms.16 per cent was elected, mainly with the support of cohorts at the chamber of commerce. 

Citizens learned the hard way that there are severe consequences for being apathetic.

Sadly, I doubt if politicians, so pleasantly ensconced in their plush seats of power, will ever have the galvanized gonads to make some very necessary changes to our voting system, such as making it mandatory. If the size of the anti-abortion rally on Parliament Hill is anything to go by, Conservative MPs will be too busy working on the agenda of their long-suffering evangelical-jihadist compatriots. The holy-rollers are greatly relieved that this majority will allow them to bring abortion, same-sex marriage and similar debates right onto the front-burner on their caucus meetings.

Bernie Smith



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