Editorial: Politics Care About You Even if You Don’t Care About Them

Those in Power Have a Vested Interest in Your Inaction

From the food you buy to the rent you pay, the work you do, the art you consume, and even where you party—politics are everywhere.

It’s impossible to live a life devoid of them and whether you’re overly political, apolitical, or anywhere in between, you exist in a system where those in power dictate nearly every aspect of your life. But, it’s important to remember who gives them power: us.

Last October, François Legault’s Coalition Avenir Québec party won a majority government despite having only won about 38 per cent of the popular vote.

If the majority of the province wanted someone else in power, how did this happen?

Only about 66 per cent of registered voters took to the polling stations—about five per cent less than the last provincial election.

Three electoral divisions saw less than 50 per cent of their voters exercise their fundamental right.

Montreal averaged a 58 per cent voter turnout, where the CAQ’s support is at its weakest.

Voting is one way to directly participate in our democracy and—believe it or not—your vote does make a difference.

In 2015, those aged between 65 and 75 years old were the demographic with the highest participation rate.

Since you’ll probably be alive much longer than them, and with millennials expected to overtake the boomers as America’s largest generation this year, it’s in your best interest to cast your ballot and be heard.

And no, abstaining from voting because elections are “bourgeois” isn’t a good excuse.

Don’t actually know how to vote or who to vote for? There are tools to help you out with that.

The act of voting, while instrumental to the proper functioning of a democracy, is a daunting task—especially for new voters or those without a traditional support system—be it parents, school teachers, or anyone else that would help you figure out the complex process of casting a vote.

Out-of-province students and people who have just turned 18 might have countless questions and nobody there to answer them.

Elections Canada’s website is an extremely effective tool and can serve as a mechanism to quell any concerns you may have about the entire process.

Everything from how to check your electoral riding, where to go to cast your ballot, to how you register to vote, and what kinds of pieces of ID are allowed at your polling centre are available on the Elections Canada site.

All the information you could ever need about the big scary world of the electoral process is readily available.

All you have to do is know where to click.

But what about those who have already been voted in?

Or those who hold power but aren’t part of the democratic process?

Collective action and protesting is another way of exercising your democratic rights.

Power is an omnipresent part of everyone’s life—we shouldn’t treat the people in power as our benevolent overlords.

The word power implies one group dominating the other, and many in positions of power do not think twice about using their status to dominate—and even subjugate others—either politically, economically, or socially.

That’s why it’s so important to hold those in power accountable, so they don’t prevent us from getting the most out of this life.

Part of The Link and other journalistic publications’ mandates is just that, but we should all strive to make sure we do not remain complacent in the face of power.

With that in mind, even if you don’t care about politics, they care about you. After all, how can you be heard if you don’t speak out?