Another election passes in Ontario, and voter turnout has hit a brand-new low.
Over the past eight years of a Liberal government, Ontarians have seen an unusual amount of turmoil.
The economy fell, causing high unemployment rates, with Stelco and other major companies closing their doors.
In the face of this adversity, our elected officials plowed through and made the tough calls that we neither wanted, nor cared, to make. That’s the job they were elected to perform and, regardless of the consequences, they were going to do it.
However, there don’t seem to be consequences anymore. People griped and complained Ontario’s Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty did a horrible job while, in power but when the time to bring change came around, apathy took hold of the masses. Suddenly those with an opinion decided they would rather sit at home than spend an hour actually caring about what happens to their province.
This same attitude can be seen on the campus of Niagara College.
In September, a new bus schedule was set in place. The new scheduling caused many students to miss classes and lag behind on campus while buses crammed with people teetered onto the road too full to accept any more passengers. This occurred regularly and people were quite outspoken about their discontent – so outspoken that a forum was organized to give all who had been left behind a voice.
The forum was attended by a representative from the Region, the manager of Welland Transit, the president of the Student Administrative Council, a handful of people from the area and about 10 students.
Where was the ire? Where were the sufferers of a broken system who were being ignored and abandoned at bus stops? It seems the curse of apathy is a strong one. What will motivate people? If someone who has been forced to wedge into unsafe conditions and travel needless hours can’t be bothered to speak up when given the chance, what hope is there that person will vote for any government at any point?
Some say the politicians are to blame. They are blamed for purposefully complicating matters until people no longer understand or care what the problem was in the first place. Can anyone place all the blame on them, or is there another place to point your finger?
During time in the public school system was anyone ever once encouraged to follow politics? Were teachers content that their students knew the name of the prime minister? Now when students are out trying to follow the political world it can feel overwhelming. They have never been made to have any knowledge of Canadian policies or politicians.
Maybe politicians are needlessly vague or confusing, but we make it pretty easy on them when we never encourage any interest in politics in schools.
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