08 November 2006

Candy trumps Democracy

Driving home last night I noticed something funny. Judging by the amount of traffic, more people were interested in getting home in time for Hallowe'en last week than in getting home in time to vote in the midterm elections. My commute home on Hallowe'en evening took me a little more than an hour. Last night it took a mere 32 minutes.

I wonder what the voter turnout was. According to the data tabulated by IDEA (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance), voter turnout (all elections from 1945-1998) for the United States is 48.3% of eligible voters, placing the U.S. at 114 in the world, just squeaking by Mexico (48.1%), but falling behind countries such as Burma/Myanmar (50.0%) and... Canada (68.4%). Ha ha, take that! Great participation in Italy, which came out number one at 92.5%.

I think the dismal voter turnout--which trends lower every year--is indicative of the inordinate influence special interests and corporations have on politics. Politicians, seemingly willing to do almost anything to stay in power, are more beholden to their donors than their voters. A lot of people just don't feel their vote has any effect, so why bother? Money talks... and I don't have any. :o(

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