Noun: (1) A lack of enthusiasm or energy: lack of interest in anything, or the absence of any wish to do anything. [This description could also be classified as depression.]
(2) An emotional emptiness: inability to feel normal or passionate human feelings or to respond emotionally.
She asked the man she was with, “What do you want for dinner?” He replies with an “I don’t care. Whatever you fix will do.”
“Where would you like to go on vacation?” “Nowhere would be fine. You decide.”
“We need to replace the curtains this year. What colour do you think we should get?” “Does it matter what colour the curtains would be?”
“Did you hear that your highschool mathematics teacher who you raved about died?” “So what? I didn’t do it.”
We have just read four different types of apathy in daily life.
From here we will focus on a news article in the October 13, 2011 issue of the London Community News head-lined, “Vote against apathy” in the Viewpoint section on page 8. The statement reads that it was mostly seniors and middle-class homeowners who made up the majority of ‘who voted’. [The population is aging, so this should be no surprise.] This writer can honestly say that the number of eligible or registered voters compared to the number of actual votes cast has not been seen at this point. Let’s examine what may be some of the reasons the younger generation does not exercise their franchise.
1.) Is the person, whether young or older, actually registered as a voter?
2.) This election was near the beginning of the school year. There would be a hassle locating a returning office, obtaining the necessary forms to receive a “Special Ballot” to vote in the student’s home riding. I don’t think this reason would truly fall under the apathy misnomer.
3.) Some of the political campaign advertising may be a reason for the turnoff. Why should I vote for someone who comes across as behaving like a child? Do these people not realize that this type of behaviour can have a detrimental effect on the message of “Get out and vote”? This is not true apathy, but should lead to some form of emotional response.
4.) Could the fact that a vote for your local representative is an automatic vote for the person wanting to be the ‘big cheese’ have any bearing on the voter turnout? It is possible, but unlikely. There are ways of not voting for the ‘big cheese’ you don’t want.
5.) A true apathetic statement would be “My vote won’t count for anything.”
6.) Another true apathetic statement would be simply, “Why bother? Nobody listens to me anyway.”
You do not have to be a young voter to fall into the last two reasons for not voting.
So how does the overall problem of ‘apathetic voter turnout’ get fixed? Making a law for “mandatory voting” is not the answer. It won’t take away the apathy. However, the possibility exists for more ruined ballots than is currently experienced. This writer does not have the answer, but a directive that was given many moons ago: If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about what transpires through the elected officials.