The Exhausted Majority
“The exhausted majority” as American social psychologist Jonathan Haidt has noted, have in many instances thrown in the towel on the political process. Centrist politicians often refer to this group of discouraged and disenchanted group as the “silent majority, the non-shouters”; to describe the vast majority of voters who are not committed to the “advocacy” echo chamber of our current political discourse.
“The exhausted majority” has not the time or the energy to play in the never ending world of virtue signalling, culture change and political cor-rectness. “The exhausted majority” has not the time to Tweet and post and howl outrage at every perceived injustice. “The exhausted majority” goes to work, drives their kids to soccer and piano lessons, pays their taxes and contributes to their community in meaningful, but quiet ways.
“The exhausted majority” in the Canadian context want “peace, order and good government” and are growing weary of the polarization in the polity of the country. For many Canadians these values are of a functioning so-ciety that we take for granted at our peril.
There is a growing number of elected and aspiring politicians who have neglected the needs of “the exhausted majority” in favour of a more popu-list agenda. These politicians fail to understand the line between organi-zational advocacy and assumption of all the responsibilities as an elected official. Having passion and commitment in your beliefs while holding pub-lic office is virtuous, desired and is required to make for better public poli-cy and a more just society. But the continuation of advocacy once elected must be balanced with the job description for which they are elected. Elected representatives are responsible for all their constituents; many of whom are ‘the exhausted majority”.
I noted in my post provincial election article the concern we all should have with respects to voter turnout. “The exhausted majority” is one of the reasons voter turnout continues to decline. Many truly feel that their needs are not being fulfilled by the system they are vested in.
“The exhausted majority” hears a continuous drum beat of initiatives gen-erated from the “good ideas club”; when all they want is a political system to deliver the core services they expect from government.
Lower voter turnout, particularly in municipal elections further polarizes the political system and creates a disproportional level of focus and effort on initiatives that are represented by an ever smaller voting block.
With municipal elections just around the corner it is incumbent on all citi-zens to engage in the political process. “The exhausted majority “ is the one significant voting block that can alter the course of the current drift to a further polarization of the local political system. As exhausting and dis-couraging as the state of political discourse may appear, your vote does matter. There is one thing for sure, if you don’t vote, there will be no change.
Municipal politics in Ottawa has not the met the needs of “the exhausted majority”. Local politics has had far too much “activity posing as action”. It is time for a re-set in the direction of Ottawa municipal politics. The people of Ottawa need a city council and mayor that can deliver policies for “the exhausted majority”. However, no change, no re-set is possible if you don’t get out and vote.
Candidate of Record
Ottawa Centre PC Party