People who don’t vote often think there’s not point, or they don’t need to
Re: “More people need to go vote” (Robert Barron column, Oct. 25, Citizen).
The bulk of people that don’t vote could generally be placed into the category “there’s no point”. In the “there’s no point” category you have two main camps. In one camp you have people who won’t vote because “all the parties are the same” in terms of issues they think are important. You see this a lot with “single-issue voters”. Their ideal party just doesn’t exist, and none of the existent parties come even remotely close enough to their values for any hint of support. If they can’t vote their exact values, they won’t, and chasing for their vote is likely an exercise in futility, unless someone can somehow convince them to shift to a “take what you can get” mentality where a person would vote for a party, while not a perfect match, that comes closest in terms of a person’s values, in order to avoid having someone get in that completely clashes with their values.
The second camp is the “don’t even NEED to vote” because they’re happy with whatever keeps getting in (in the Valley’s case, usually the NDP), and so long as other people are electing what they’re perfectly happy to settle with, they’re not going to vote, either. You see this a lot in places where one party has been favored for so long, it’s been decades or even almost a century since another party or at least a party from the opposite side of the political spectrum got elected. It truly is a “why bother” situation. So if the election ends up in an NDP representative, and the person at least thinks NDP is “good enough”, what even is the point of that person voting? The only thing that would get them off their butts to vote is if a candidate that represents a party they absolutely can’t abide has a solid chance of winning over the regular choice.
April J. Gibson