Once again, close to half of the eligible voters of B.C. exercised their right not to vote in the past election.
This large group of people are often harshly criticized by those who do get out to cast their ballot.
Rather than being critical, perhaps it would be of some benefit to analyze some of the reasons why so many people choose not to vote.
I know of some people who do not vote because of religious reasons. They take a neutral stand when it comes to politics and believe that it is only God’s government that will solve mankind’s woes. These folks are happy to abide by the laws and conditions of any governing party in the meantime.
Other would be voters are very cynical. They feel there are no politicians that really represent or listen to the people, but rather only leaders that have their own agendas.
Some feel that politicians are crooked. They see them as taking from the poor to pay for the rich.
Another common attitude is thinking that the party that one believes in has no chance of forming government. One might think that they are just throwing their vote away anyhow, so why bother voting at all?
I am sure there are also a small number of people who are actually sick or faced with some unforeseen circumstance that keeps them from the polls.
What ever the reasons, I am very grateful to live in a country that allows us the freedom to choose whether we will vote or not. I would never want to see people forced to participate against their will. Nor would I want to see bullying tactics used to shame people into voting.
The NDP have mentioned low voter turnout as one possible reason for their defeat. It will be interesting to see how they plan to reach out to this large portion of the population to encourage them to become involved in the democratic process during the next election.
I believe it may take more than talk to overcome voter apathy. Respectable, reliable, open and honest actions on behalf of government will speak louder than words.