Why Don’t People Vote?

There are numerous reasons posited by media pundits and political scientists, but if one needs a demonstrable explanation for the dire lack of interest by almost half of the electorate, then look no further than the example of Fred Slade, Conservative Party candidate in Sudbury, Ontario.

Here, Fred monotonously reads a list of scripted talking points from CPC HQ lays out his “vision” for a Canada that… Zzzzzzz.

I’m sure Slade is a decent and terribly earnest fellow (heck, he served as the President of the Sudbury and District Chartered Accountants Association!), but based on this horrid promotional video, one might just as soon vote for a trained monkey.

Sadly, he’s not alone. The majority of MPs are little more than seat-fillers on one bench or another, at times helping provide a visual backdrop (when they bother to show up for work, that is) or serving as desk-thumping hecklers or cheerleaders, dutifully towing the party line when it comes time to cast their vote, but otherwise nearly invisible and of little to no relevance whatsoever.

Update: On a more thoughtful note, here’s a discussion from TVO’s Agenda program that delves into the role of MPs and their diminishing significance in parliament, as part of the “Politics is Broken” series.

8 Comments

Filed under 2011 Canadian Election, Conservative Party of Canada

8 responses to “Why Don’t People Vote?

  1. Fred’s really on fire. Looks like some left-lib Sudburian asses are in for a right kicking.

  2. It’s so true.

    I’ve been clamoring for a long time on the need to take the money out of elections. If we were to cut national and local campaign funding (to low levels which could be raised by a larger part of population) it would open doors to more competition. MPs and candidates would not be able to hide behind the national campaign advertising, or 10’s of thousands of dollars of local ads. Voters would actually be more engaged if they ever met the people who were running. Incumbents tend to hide out (particularly weaker candidates). With less advertising funds these candidates would actually have to go out and gladhand and meet the public. One party couldn’t dominate elections simply by being richer (extreme “hot-button” politics supports the extremes of the spectrum – right and left. Leveling the playing field would make it fair for all).

    Further, I would suggest we have 3 mandatory public debates for ALL candidates. Voters have a right to vett the candidates we are “hiring”. The first debate would be a “qualifications and candidate’s opinions” debate, where we could ask WHY the candidates feel they can represent us in Ottawa, and find out about their personal convictions. The other 1 or 2 mandatory debates would be on issues. Make the debates real – a real moderator, and a panel of judges awarding points from the local debating and elocution societies.

    Fact is, the public won’t vote, or show interest if they aren’t engaged. They also lose interest if they feel they have no control. We can fix that, but it will take some will. There is no reason a national campaign should spend $18 Million on ads. Get the leaders out on the hustings crossing the nation making speeches. If they can’t run attack ads and “propaganda blasts” they will have to “stump”. No more “hidden” campaigns – they will have to meet more than just partisan crowds to get their word out. The internet would be used more – which would engage more youth.

    Local campaigns don’t need 80K to spend. Spending should be capped at $20K or $30K, and the focus should be placed on canvassing for votes.

    Money is ruining our democracy, and the faster we remove it, the better.

  3. SF: What do you want to bet that this was filmed in front of a green screen in the CPC’s Ottawa production studio, with the “local” candidates shoved into place, forced to read their script and then quickly hauled off before the next chump was cued up and shoved into frame to recite their party line spiel customized for [insert riding here].

  4. sapphireandsteel

    Nice call Red. It was filmed in front of a green screen. The crap matte and the weird despilling (or lack of) is there plus there’s no shadows between him and the backboard. Even bounce lighting would cause some sort of shadowing or softening. They could have added a bit of desaturation and a softer edge to his matte to achieve a more natural look but Im not going to help them out.

    BTW, I have a diploma in visual effects. I think that’s one of the rare times its come in handy.

  5. sapphireandsteel

    Oh and colour correction. My complexion is ruddy but please that man looks like he’s been left out in the wind.

    Colour correction, bad green screening, no attention to lighting. Hmm Liberals, NDP … Im available for work & I live downtown. 😉

  6. S&S: Thanks for the technical breakdown.

    It’s funny (or amazing, really, I guess) how readily the eye-brain tag-team can apprehend bad visual effects from numerous subtle cues such as the ones you described.

  7. jkg

    It appears that the CPC were actually quite sincere in declaring how irrelevant Dion was, since they apparently ignored any lessons from their own attacks on the production values of Dion’s fated rebuttal video.

  8. tofkw

    Cripes!!! Even when students, the poorest demographic for bothering to vote, actually get out and do so …guess who tries to put a stop to it?!?!

    http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/local/article/517010–conservatives-ask-elections-canada-to-nullify-votes-cast-at-u-of-g-wednesday

    Fortunately they were not allowed to erode democracy any more than they already have.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canadavotes2011/story/2011/04/15/cv-election-guelph-student-vote.html

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s