Opinion Editorial

Apathetic loser label fits Emerson constituency

Greg Vandermeulen

The Emerson constituency is full of a special type of people. It's the kind of home grown citizen that supports Queen and country, and believes strongly in good old fashioned values. At least that's what they like you to think.

The sad truth is more than half of adults in the Emerson constituency simply don't care about being a good citizen. They have no interest in important issues such as education, health care or roads. It turns out the coffee shops filled with griping business owners and farmers, are no more significant than a tea party for five-year-old girls.

Don't believe this to be true? Ask yourself this. Have you cast a ballot recently?

More than 50 per cent of eligible voters think so little of this constituency, and the province, they could not even be bothered to cast a vote in the last provincial election.

That's the worst turnout in the province. So get off your high horse, Emerson now has a reputation. It's one for apathetic, uniformed attitudes.

Our constituency slogan could very well be "we don't care".

Our MLA, Cliff Graydon was elected with 3,696 votes, only 30 per cent of the possible votes.

The runner-up, the NDP candidate was given 1,296 votes and the Liberal was close behind that.

The reasons for not voting are many. Some could be PC supporters who assume the PC candidate will be elected anyway. Or they could support the NDP and Liberal and again, assume it's a lost cause for their candidate.

But consider this. Statistically people on the right of the political spectrum are more inclined to actually cast a vote than those on the left. That means just because the PC Party got more than 60 per cent votes cast, that formula would not work the same if those who hadn't voted weighed in.

Of the missing votes, if 4,317 were NDP supporters, and 1,913 liked the PC Party, we would have an NDP candidate.

You never know if your vote does make a difference but one thing you can be sure of.

If you don't cast a vote, you will make no difference at all.

If we as a region don't like being thought of as the constituency that doesn't care, we need to step up to the ballot box.

After all, why should any government pay attention to the people in this constituency if we're so disengaged that we can't even muster the energy once every four years to name our favourite candidate?

Be counted on Oct. 4. Cast a ballot and help shape Manitoba's future.