So this is going out on a limb here but - here is my answer to why the government has a legitimate reason to ignore Occupy Bay street.
Voter turnout was a record low 49.2 per cent in our most recent elections.
Granted, the majority of the people protesting at Occupy Bay Street likely did vote. And I am not anti the Occupy Everywhere movement. In fact, I’m a participant. I’m definitely not saying the government SHOULD ignore the Occupy movement, but that they have a valid point to use against the movement.
However, if our population is protesting for democracy, social justice, and challenging the status quo, we need to be voting. It is the greatest influence we have over our government. I do believe protesting is important and works - to a degree. The most successful protesting in terms of actually changing Canadian government decisions was during the Vietnam war, and that wasn’t so long ago. I think people should be encouraged by that.
Often, people talk about why it’s great that you vote. But I’ve made a list of reasons why it sucks when you don’t.
1. You don’t have a right to complain about the government if you don’t vote.
2. Choosing to not vote at all by not showing up- is just saying you don’t care. The fact of the matter is, whether or not you are engaged with our current political climate, politicians’ choices affect your life. That is VERY different from choosing to spoil a ballot or going to a polling station and officially “refusing” your ballot. While neither of these are actually voting - they both send a message. That’s saying that you have no confidence in the representatives.
3. When you don’t vote, and you’re a minority you’re spitting in the faces of those who fought for your right to vote. That’s you, Japanese, Chinese, Aboriginals, Africans, Caribbean descendants, Women, mentally disabled, non-land owning citizens etc. etc.
4. When you don’t vote, it basically means you’re allowing other people to vote for you - their votes mean more.
And lastly, and most importantly —
5. You are jeopardizing our democracy.
There are a number of websites that can help educate you, and get you out to the vote. In fact, if you need a ride to get to the polling stations your candidates will actually have a volunteer come and pick you up. You can have someone vote on your behalf, by proxy. You can mail in your vote. You can vote at advance polls. See? No excuses.
Check these out: