Choices for the voter: get involved or… complain without doing anything

How many citizens have a card of membership in a political party? In Quebec, only around 130,000, on December 31, 2011, or less than 2.2% of all voters. It seems that most people prefer to give up than get involved. Yet they are often the ones best placed, through their knowledge about their area of work and their life experience, to find workable solutions that can improve Quebec’s situation.

Instead of participating, voters prefer to leave things up to “professional” politicians, many of whom only seek to hold on to power and fill their pockets and those of their “friends.” As well, when the time comes to vote, this being a duty and also a responsibility, many voters don’t even bother to think long and hard about their candidate. Their choice is made as seriously as when you buy a car for the short term. You kick the tires, glance over the colour, listen to the salesman’s pep talk and, above all, hope you won’t buy a lemon this time. A bit like playing the lottery.

People complain about the incompetence and dishonesty of their politicians. Clearly, however, this widespread disgust for politics and politicians means that competent and honest people are reluctant to go into politics, knowing they’ll be considered rotten even before they start. Doesn’t society get the politicians it deserves? Voters deplore the lack of political choice. Yet they never had so many choices as they did at the last election, and they nonetheless decided to vote “strategically” and stick with the “major parties” while ignoring the emerging ones. Thus, with this widespread apathy and individualism, and a majority fed up with politics, it’s easy for small well-organized pressure groups to influence, to their advantage, the puppets who claim to govern us but who, in reality, care only about their personal ambitions. The current state of politics unfortunately reflects our society.

At Équipe autonomiste, we believe this state of things can change. We’re convinced that citizens have not only the power to remedy it but also a duty to do so. All of us have this responsibility: get involved in politics, at whatever level, because such involvement will determine the future of our society, our children, and our retirement years. And we are convinced that a new party can make a difference. Just by spreading new ideas and depriving the old parties of your vote, you can prod them to change their behaviour and their vision. They will try to get votes and keep their position at any price, as they now do when they ignore their own party platform and talk their way around issues without even pretending to have a debate.

We think citizens can change politics, but only if they make an effort. Why don’t they? Lack of time is usually not the real reason. It’s more a matter of personal choice, motivation, and remaining independent if we are to believe the figures of Statistique Québec about the degree of passivity. Either you “complain and do nothing” or you “work and take things in hand.”

How do you get involved in politics? Begin by getting informed about Québec’s nineteen authorized political parties. Choose the one whose ideas most match your vision and, at least, encourage that party. You can take out a membership card, contribute to it, and promote it among people you know. You can even find time and energy to get involved in it. To get politics working the way you want, get involved. That’s the only way. Criticism is fine, but action is a lot better!