This is a letter to the Herald that I sent to the newspaper yesterday.
I am really concerned about the low voter turnout and the excuses being made by high profile media people the likes of Mike Hosking as to why they did not vote in the local body elections .
Much is being made of the ” difficulties and awkwardness ” of the postal ballot which was brought into being because of the ” inconvenience” to voters to go to polling stations.
Now we hear that online voting being brought into the frame.
It seems the 30 second attention span of a large majority of eligible voters would be challenged even with this facility.
Here are my thoughts for what ever they are worth;
The low voter turnout for the recent council elections is a sad indictment of the apathy that has permeated and overcome our society.
For all the self righteous talk and chest beating about our precious democratic values when it comes right down to it ,as a people ,the majority of the voting population of New Zealand pay little more than lip service and scant respect for our rights to them.
The list of weak excuses rolled out from those who did not vote ,” I forgot” ,”I did not know anything about the candidate” , “I couldn’t be bothered” ,etc just underlines the laziness and apathetic stupidity of a population too self absorbed and spoilt to take the time to seek information about candidates for themselves.
The candidates were all contactable and information freely available but it took just a little effort on the individual voters part to find it.
It is the responsibility of us all to protect our democracy by being aware of that which affects our daily lives ,which means taking time to research that of which we are not sure to make informed decisions when the time comes to vote .
Unfortunately the population at large has become so dependant on being told what to believe in ,the politics of personality and envy and whether an individual is telegenic or not and broadcasts via the media slanted to reflect the opinions of the editorial staff ,it has become all too easy to lay the blame at someone else’s door for an individuals own lack of motivation or common sense.
Democracy and freedom are hard fought for rights that people in some far off countries can still only dream about and yearn for.
Yet here we are with a population that preaches democracy but for all intents and purposes are willing to be led by the nose and squeal when elected representatives do something not to their liking.
There is no free ride on anything worthwhile and we need a solid foundation to maintain our freedoms and that means everyone doing their bit when it comes to getting the best people to represent us at election times.
Let’s see what the next general election reveals about the population of this country?