The "Vocal Minority" and the Indifferent Majority

By Jason Leach
Published March 19, 2007

An interesting letter to the editor in the Spec last week has a new take on democracy.

The writer, referring to the mayor's request for citizens to take part in a survey determining Hamilton's budget priorities, calls those who participates in such exercises as "the vocal minority".

Apparently the rest of society sitting at home watching TV is the majority. I wonder if the writer considers those who participate at election time also to be the vocal minority.

At a glance it sounds like a great basis for re-introducing communism as our political structure. Sadly, it is true. The minority in our society participate in democracy. Both at election time and throughout the year in public input sessions, meetings or simple surveys such as this.

They aren't the ones who should be demonized. It's the majority who don't give a rip that need to be scolded. I always say, if you don't care enough to voice your opinion, you really have little basis to complain after the fact.

This particular letter writer could have filled out the mayor's survey instead of spending the time it took to send this letter into the Spec.

What a novel idea - participating in democracy instead of just complaining about it.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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By Ted Mitchell (registered) | Posted March 19, 2007 at 21:16:05

I'm with you there Jason. The vocal minority, at least municipally, has the most sensible input to the political process. Sadly, they are outgunned by business interests with powerful argument$.

But in general the structure of council and the city technocracy are an impediment to implementing good ideas from the vocal minority.

Viva real (direct) democracy.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted March 20, 2007 at 13:14:35

Heh, pretty timely with Joel Hirshhorn's article on mandatory voting in this ish.

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