Sat Aug 25, 2012, 08:52 PM
arely staircase (9,600 posts)
The Problem with Apathy
There is probably no better recipe for a dictatorial oligarchy than a democracy in which virtually nobody participates. Off year local races are the worst. Our recent school board elections saw the highest turnout in thirty years, at just under ten percent of registered voters - which is just under half of all eligible voters. A higher percentage of Soviet citizens chose their leaders.
On the national level turnout is higher but still low enough to affect the results in not pretty ways. Take this recent CNN poll for example.
While the race is a virtual dead heat among likely voters (a group defined by past participation in elections and answers to pollsters, among other factors), Obama enjoys a nearly ten point lead among registered voters.
“'Likely voters have traditionally been a more Republican group in past elections because they tend to turn out in higher numbers than Democrats, and 2012 looks like it is no exception. This explains why the margin between President Obama and Mitt Romney is smaller among likely voters,' says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland."
As both Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore have both pointed out over the years, most Americans actually hold pretty progressive views on issues. And both (rightly) point to the effect of big money on politics as a reason for politicians ignoring the people's will. But the fact is, the problem also lies with not enough of the people expressing that will at the ballot box.
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The Problem with Apathy (Original post)
|arely staircase||Aug 2012||OP|
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