I've been asked several times why I bother to do this blog. And I struggle to find an answer. But I will get around to formulating a response to this question by the bottom of this post, I promise.
As I was heating my lunch up in the microwave I started thinking about the different levels of voter apathy in Canada (and in any democracy, really). Let's dive in.
Level 0 - Is unaware that Canada is a democracy and that we have such things as elections.
Level 1 - Has heard of elections, but views "election day" as nothing more than a minor traffic inconvenience around the neighbourhood school, and perhaps a chance to duck out of work an hour early.
Level 2 - Thought about voting once, but hasn't progressed much beyond that.
Level 3 - Votes from time to time, but it is generally a totally uneducated and ill-informed vote brought about by some contentious, high visibility issue, or a taxpayer funded flyer sent out by their MP.
Level 4 - Votes often or always but has no justification for their vote other than "I always vote that way" or "the other guys are going to take away my guns"
Level 5 - Votes and might even recognize the name of a local candidate if it wasn't on a lawn sign or the ballot. May even watch a debate and gives off the impression that they think about what they're doing. But don't, really.
Level 6 - Now we're talking. Votes almost always. Starting to understand and hold an opinion on most issues. Capable of an informed discussion on politics. (Note - Some conscientious vote objectors might start to work their way in here, but I would argue that anybody who doesn't vote because "they're all bad" really doesn't know what's going on)
Level 7 - An informed citizen with ideas and reasons for their vote. Knows the name of the local candidate and could pick them out of a police line-up if pressed to do so.
Level 8 - Political junkies. Informed, but starting to drink a bit too much of the Kool-aid.
Level 9 - Quite possibly a member of a political party. Often parrots talking points. Beyond help, really.
Level 10 - Under the right circumstances, this person would think about starting a militia or fire-bombing a corporate office.
Level 9 and 10 are probably beyond help. Level 6,7 and 8 probably don't need help in making up their minds on who to vote for. It's everybody below that that is contributing to our problem.
So my idea, and the idea of this blog, is to start kicking the bottom feeders up the hierarchy. If we can start convincing the guy who doesn't vote that there's political decisions that are impacting their lives, or forward a story to an ignorant voter that will blow up their regurgitated opinions...well...we might actually start doing something in this country.
Not voting is our biggest problem. Voting from a position of ignorance is a close second. So, that is the (new) stated goal of this blog; Trying to kick people up a level or two on the hierarchy of voter apathy.