Disengagement and Cynicism Rising:
Few would deny that politics in BC is not all it could be and certainly not all we would like it to be. Voter turnout has steadily dropped over the past thirty years, from 70% in 1983 to barely more than 50% in 2009. According to a 2008 Angus Reid poll, only 31% of British Columbians have even as much as ‘a fair amount’ of respect for politicians, let alone ‘a great deal’; at the national level, this number is down about a third from 1994.
Fundamentally a Matter of (Dis)Respect for Voters:
As Simon Jackson, founder of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, pointed out recently, voters are tired of being taken for granted. He argues that Premier Campbell’s recent resignation was, at heart, “about respect — about politicians honouring their promises and, even more so, their constituents when it came to explaining all that was really going on.”
Good People, Bad System?
While there is certainly much truth in Jackson’s comments, it’s also true that the majority of politicians enter politics out of a sincere desire to make their city, province or country a better place (as political commentator Bernard Schulmann also argues). We at Fair Voting BC believe that the problem is not nearly so much the politicians themselves (though they do bear significant responsibility), but the archaic and confrontational political system they find themselves part of and have not found the will to change.
Invitation from Fair Voting BC:
In this website, we describe some of the significant problems with how politics is practiced today in BC, present some exciting and innovative ideas about how we might collectively build a modern political process which respects all participants – politicians and citizens alike – and invite you to join us in this challenging endeavour. Explore, reflect, and contribute!