Warning: These are far from completed thoughts, but here are some dashed off comments (before I get to work) on what I see as some troubling stats from the election.
Stat #1: Popular vote
I realize that various groups have been saying this for years, but isn’t there a problem with our electoral system when one party (the Bloc) gets 10% of the popular vote and gains some 48 seats, while another party (Green) gets 7% of the vote and gets zero seats?
Stat #2: Voter turnout
Apparently, it may be the lowest turnout for a Canadian federal election ever (something like 59% of the eligible voters showed up).
Stat #3: Media coverage
Ok, it’s not an official stat, but as I watched the CTV election coverage, I couldn’t help but get a sense of why Westerners and Atlanticers do feel somewhat alienated at election time. 80-90% of the air-time was about Ontario and Quebec. I realize that’s where the population is, but still…
So what does the Theommentator have to say about all these “stats”?
1) Popular vote – Frankly, I’m stuck on this. I can’t think of much of theological significance to say about this. Maybe its a stretch (I’m sure it is), but maybe this election shows that popularity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…That’s awful, I know…Anyone else have an insight?
2) Voter turn-out – I thank God that I live in a country where political freedom is real– –where I can cast a vote and not have to risk my life to do it. Amazingly, in Afganistan voters took real risks to vote in their first democratic election, yet there was an 85% turn-out rate. Perhaps our national apathy and cyncism to elections is due to nothing more than–ingratitude. Ingratitude to God for the real peace, prosperity and freedom that we enjoy each and every day. Most of us can’t imagine what it would be like not to live in a democratic country. Not that I think that democracy is God’s chosen politic, but frankly, it’s better than lots of other systems…
3) Media coverage – Interestingly, I’ve watched 2 of the last 3 elections while here in Montreal. (I was in Montreal for the 2004 election). My hosts are very gracious Christians, but their political preferences were clearly different than mine. We joked a bit about the differences between West and East, but I didn’t say anything about how even the media coverage seems to exacerbate the feelings of Western alienation from the “real” political centres in Canada. And that is all said even when the Prime Minister is from Western Canada!
It’s a sad thing to report that I personal felt tinges of alienation while sitting in the home of my Christian brother and sister. It demonstrates to me, at least, that even things like “media coverage” are not theologically neutral, but may be perhaps an example of the “powers and principalities” (cf. Eph 6:12; Col 1:16) at work even against the most important spiritual bonds that we have with our fellow Christians.