“Sometimes people do things because they are furious or because they are upset or because they are out for blood. And those things can hurt. But what hurts the most is when someone does something out of apathy. They don’t care about you the way they said they did back in college. They don’t care about you the way they promised to when you got married. They don’t care about you at all.”
Combine “lampoon” with the last name of Stephen Harper and you end up with Harpoon, a website launching this week that aims to energize younger voters by mercilessly skewering our prime minister.
With a federal election on the horizon in the fall, a group of mostly young activists hopes to combine fun factoids, social media and the talents of several well-known cartoonists to raise the dismally low rates of participation of young Canadians in the political process.
“We’re an eclectic bunch of comedy lovers, heartwarmingly united by disgust for our exceptionally bad overlord,” the site (at harpoon2015.ca) proclaims.
“Amongst all of us, there is great concern that young people aren’t voting and it’s their future that’s at stake. So we’re trying to engage young voters in a way that they’ve never been approached before,” said site co-founder Lauchlan Rogers, 24, a recent York University graduate.
Rogers said he and a small cadre of friends looked at a number of previous get-out-the-vote sites aimed at young people and “they all seem to be finger-wagging and shaming people for not voting.”
“We don’t think that works and the last thing we want to do is shame young people or patronize them,” he said.
But Rogers notes ruefully that in the 2011 federal election, there were more than 7 million Canadians between the age of 18 and 35 who were eligible to vote, yet only 42 per cent exercised their right to do so.
The biggest problems in the U.S. right now are not Ted Cruz or Tom Cotton, or even Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Those men are not the problem. Believe it or not, money in politics is not even the problem. Those are all symptoms. The problem is that liberals don’t vote, and we should all be angry.
Sean McElwee of Al Jazeera(why is it that non-American sources are better at American news?)…
After looting and rioting, less than 30% of Ferguson’s registered voters showed up to vote
It seems the good people of Ferguson MO are more interested in looting and burning businesses to the ground than voting to change their political situation. Sad business, this is.
from USA Today:
About 30% of voters cast ballots, more than double the participation in the last two elections in Ferguson. Many of the voters who showed up on Tuesday braved rain to cast their ballots in what activists have hailed as a historic election.
But a closer consideration of the numbers should leave us depressed about the seeming lack of interest of our fellow Americans in participatory democracy.
In the Ward 3 race, which includes the area Brown was from and where many business were destroyed and looted in the unrest, only 19% of voters cast ballots. To be certain, participation was up dramatically in Brown’s home ward. In 2012, the last time there was a contested election in the ward, only 6 % – just 168 voters – bothered to cast ballots.
But after what Ferguson went through over the last eight months, an election in which less than a third participated seems like a hollow victory for democracy.
To be fair, my own city, Chicago, is hardly a stirring example. In the Windy City, which on Tuesday held the city’s first-ever mayoral runoff, less than 40% of voters bothered to cast ballots. The depressing turnout comes as the city is grappling with $20 billion in unmet pension obligations and persistent violence.