Where is our interest in politics?

The 40th General Election on Oct. 14 saw the lowest voter turnout in its history with just 59 per cent of the voting population hitting the polls.

East Scarborough residents did not find the need to show up in droves either.

In Pickering-Scarborough East, for example, just 46,634 of the 76,079 registered electors bothered to cast a ballot.

With a little over 22,000 votes, Liberal candidate Dan McTeague was once again elected. Back in 2006, there were 52,749 ballots were cast.

It appears people are becoming less interested in the political affairs of our country.

Youth feel even more disenchanted with politics than their parents and grandparents. Major concerns of Scarborough’s youth include crime, violence and rising costs of education.

The candidates were not offering solid answers to these issues. Their platforms did not speak to the young people in Scarborough.

Our political parties need to do more to engage the younger citizens who will become tomorrow’s leaders.

Perhaps the answer lies in introducing new and fresh faces. A fairly young Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, and Republican vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, have undoubtedly brought new energy to the American presidential elections.

Young people are getting involved in the electoral process like never before.

Canada needs that kind of youth.

One change that Canadians can be proud of is the fact that this election saw a record number of women elected – 68.

That is four more than 2006. Among the women is first-time Liberal candidate Michelle Simson representing Scarborough Southwest.

Some political leaders are talking about doing things differently, but change should also come in the form of younger candidates.

That seems to be happening on a small scale, but the same old people are failing to resonate with the Canadian people and that is made clear by the steady decline in voter turnouts.

About this article

By: Patrick Clarke
Posted: Oct 26 2008 4:48 pm
Filed under: Opinion