A common concern in the world of politics, at least when avoiding a authoritarian leadership role, is the increasing sense of apathy that has been seen in elections over the recent decades which compromises the heart of democracy. Formal political turnout was at its lowest in the start of this millennium at 59.4% in the 2001 UK election, and has not reached above 67% since then. But the question is why don’t people care, when everyone will conduct themselves in respects to their personal beliefs but won’t convert this into votes at the polls.
Political apathy is diagnosed to many of these non-voters, it is common for the many who do not vote to simply say ‘I don’t care much for politics’ when everyone cares for the issues in their lives. The core values and beliefs of an individual can be placed onto a position on the political spectrum, which can then be translated to a vote at the polls. These individuals forget that the key motivation of politics is to provide social harmony over what society wants, and the apathy towards politics is an apathy to your own wants and desires. Politics needs your opinion and the principle of having an opinion is all that is needed in politics, you are not apathetic you are just misguided on what to do with your opinion.
And now we hear the general cries of ‘my vote doesn’t matter’ and the lack of identification to parties to even vote for. But this mismatch doesn’t need to be perfect it just needs to be engaged with, an increased engagement shows you care and tells politicians they should care too. Just look at the backlash to the Brexit referendum, young people weren’t heard because of poor turnout from their age group but after petitions and the screams of social media the Labour party has truly adapted a manifesto to target young people. These young people are registering to vote at rapid rates never seen before and this is the cure for apathy, it is just being aware and engaging.
Maybe the apathy epidemic isn’t over, we need to wait and see the turnout at the UK election in 2017. It is clear that things are changing in response to poor politics in recent years where people are feeling the backlash of their apathy however it may not be enough to remind people how opinions work in modern society with true democracy.