To the editor,
Re: Non-voters are a symptom, they’re not the problem, Opinion, Sept. 17.
I am a non-voter. I was initially excited to see a guest comment regarding non-voters. My excitement quickly faded when I came to realize that the column failed to capture any sense whatsoever of why I have become a non-voter. There was still a presumption in the article that somehow our system of governance is democratic and would serve us better if we could only find some way to bring me back to the polls.
How can any elected government proclaim to have a legitimate mandate of the people when it is typically elected with well below 50 per cent of the popular vote? Why is it that many of our critical social issues go unaddressed, sometimes for decades, due to fear of political misstep by the governing parties? Why has our system in Canada been recognized to be the most autocratic and the most subject to special interest influence of all of the western parliamentary governments? Our system is failing us.
The late Vaughan Lyon, a former political science professor from Trent University, has laid out in great detail the steps that could be taken to dismantle the ‘partyocracy’ and to bring policy democracy down to the level of the people In doing so we would be provided with the quality of governance that we deserve in the 21st century. When that happens, I will return to the polls.
James G. Smith, Nanaimo
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