Thursday, January 5, 2006

Political Process

This month you are going to hear something very familiar. We should remember them, it wasn't very long ago we heard it last. The popular vote v. political representation analysis, regional breakdowns and disproportionate representation, and above all voter turn out.

Now, a low voter turn out isn't a symptom of the growing divide between the state and the people, or even politicians and people. It is about the divide between the king makers and the people. As the elite grow more powerful they are less sensitive to the political efforts of the unorganized masses, so the masses find better things to do where their efforts. Re-enforcing things like jobs, education, art, etc. And it is really not an uninspired thing to do because political process is like all other processes: when it stops getting input it stops producing output; a fire can only give heat and light if it keeps getting fuel.

So it seems that as the divide grows larger and larger political apathy will drop further and further. Right? Well, yes and no. Political apathy will drop, and eventually bottom out, but it won't be reflected in voter turn out. There may already be a significant rift between the two. The king makers have alot to loose and don't want any scrappy rebels to know there is a standing reserve army ready to fight for a change so they have a reason to pump up the voter turn out. If I were in the driver's seat I would make an effort to organized voter mobilization campaigns.

Not voter education campaigns, mind you. That is the difference between political apathy and voter turn out. You can give people reasons to vote that are not entirely political.. that are slightly more basic like economic or social reasons. Remember that process? Well, some of the output, say government contracts, becomes input, like economic interest, for the next iteration. Each slightly less political than the one before.


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