A few years back, I came into a little money and invested in blue-chip stocks. Between the dividends and capital gains, I did much better than bank interest.
But every year, the 10 or so companies send me their annual statement — with a slip of paper that listed my name and share holdings. It also had some computer code that could be run through a scanner. I was asked to check the box that supported the nominated board of directors.
I never did vote. I had really no idea whether these people were indeed better for the company than someone else who might be interested in the job. My investment in these companies was not large enough to spend hours and hours trying to figure out whether these nominees were worth it. In essence, I had abdicated my responsibly to those who were watching the companies more closely.
In a like manner, the 50% of people who normally do not vote are saying: “There isn’t much difference between the two parties to make the effort to get to the polls.” They are abdicating their responsibility as well just as I do with my corporate interests.
And maybe that is the wiser choice of action: if they are not ready to make the investment to find a difference (slight as it might be), should they really vote?