General apathy, major boredom at election time

  • October 17, 2013

During a mid-1970s election campaign in Great Britain, William Whitelaw, the Conservative opposition leader, famously accused Harold Wilson, then Labour prime minister, of going round the country stirring up apathy. 

That apathetic strategy certainly seems to have caught on, in politics and in the Church, on both sides of the Atlantic.

In the recent election in Nova Scotia, the Liberals swept to power with a resounding majority. The one-term New Democratic Party government was ousted with such unequivocal certitude that even the most critical of voters couldn’t mask their surprise. But, as is the case with most Canadian elections, many of the voters had simply masked themselves as non-voters, apparently stirred up by the apathy which Whitelaw described four decades ago.

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