Re: Hey Voters, Your Ballots Matter (The Daily News, Nov. 20).
Years ago, The Daily News mentioned three “fundamental concerns” of the voting process: low voter turnout, votes which do not count and outcomes which do not reflect voter preferences.
I posit that declining voter turnout is because of voter disengagement. Voters made a considered decision, based on observed results, to withdraw from formal political activity.
There are six persuasive explanations: voters feel they do not have enough influence over political decisions; the parties are too similar and lack principle; the voting system leads to wasted and unequal votes; parties and elections require voters to commit to too broad a range of policies; a lack of information and knowledge about politics; and voting procedures are inconvenient and unattractive. (Excerpt from Power to the People: An independent Inquiry into Britain’s Democracy, Chapter 3.)
Yes, the ballots of voters could have an impact. But, the status quo suits the political establishment, as an uniformed, misinformed and uninvolved populace makes it easier for the political establishment to manipulate the system to their own purposes.
Addressing the six explanations is complicated, and perhaps career ending. Blaming the voters is simple, and without consequence.
And, we have been solemnly informed we are only capable of using simple processes. What could be simpler than doing nothing?