Monday, 6 June 2011

Portugal’s elections see a 41% abstention. Hold on, in Jersey we have 70 - 80%!

 Reading an article about the recent elections in Portugal, I was struck by the following remarks:
“……it is remarkable that more than 41 percent failed to cast their votes. It is a disturbing sign of a feeble democracy in which the divide between politicians and voters keeps growing.
The political bubble in which many of these politicians operate is a different country from the one in which a great part of the population lives. And although ‘guilt’ can never be one-sided, it is ultimately those who are elected as representatives that must make an effort to reflect the voters' will.” (*)

So, voter abstention is a sign of a “feeble democracy”. Why does no one take this issue seriously in Jersey, when we have voter abstention in the region of 60% to 80% depending on Parish and District? The fault for this argues the author lies with the representatives failing to make an effort to reflect the voter’s will. I am only  aware of States Members expressing contempt or indifference towards those that do not vote. No one is the slightest bit interested to find out why they do not vote, let alone suggest how this might be rectified. When did one ever see the local media take up the issue or ask a committed non-voter for their reasons. This surely is the elephant in the room of Jersey politics. Yes, they really are living in a political bubble, just like the political class across Europe.

(*) Portugal: the day after  Sofia Diogo Maeus (06.06.2011) openDemocracy

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