Feature

Our politics are deadly boring

Canadian politicians can&rsquo;t even sustain voters&rsquo; interest for a month, said George Clark in <em>London Free Press.</em>

George Clark
London Free Press

Canadian politicians can’t even sustain voters’ interest for a month, said George Clark. Last month, we had an election for which the campaign lasted just 37 days. Despite this brevity, the exercise was so tedious that it inspired “the lowest voter turnout in history.” South of the border, by contrast, the Americans dragged out their campaign for two full years. Yet they never got sick of it. They elected Barack Obama this month with one of their highest levels of voter turnout in decades. “Election burnout” is partly to blame for Canadian apathy. With three federal elections in four years, it’s hard for voters to keep getting excited about choosing a new Parliament. Still, we managed to celebrate the U.S. election—Canadians thronged bars to watch the American results come in. Perhaps that’s because of the difference in the stakes. The Americans were choosing a person to run two wars and rescue their financial system. Canada had a new election merely because Prime Minister Stephen Harper determined that the current “Parliament was dysfunctional”—an observation “right up there with ‘Rain is wet.’” Evidently we are just “not in the same league as the United States.”

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