Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why the surprised look?



Shocked, shocked that California lags in political activism and community/voluntary participation.

From Alexander Heffner's column from yesterday, California Is Failing at Civic Engagement:

One government failure and apathetic citizen at a time, civic illiteracy is eroding the Golden State. That’s the forecast for California, according to data recently collected on civic involvement in the democratic process.

Start with the recently published California Civic Health Index that revealed that the state’s population is threatened by languor. Apathy is deadly for civic activity from volunteerism to voting to community service. Nonprofits California Forward, the Center for Civic Education and Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute for Public Engagement collaborated to gauge civic proficiency statewide.

The index reveals that only a quarter of citizens have participated in a non-electoral political event (be it a rally, protest, demonstration or public forum) and roughly the same fraction is partaking in volunteer work. Only 8 percent report working with neighbors to resolve a community problem, and only 9 percent attend town halls or similar meetings.

Then there is continued lack of electoral enthusiasm. In 2008, voter turnout in California ranked 42nd in the nation. This past November, even with the grass-roots tea party furor, turnout slipped even further, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.

The fact is that California is no longer instilling civic values, virtues or anything of the kind.

And when we Californians do get off our collective ass to vote, we tend to vote for the same damn statist "solutions" that have got this state into the fiscal, debt-ridden, employer-fleeing mess it is in now.

Why this apparent state of being of waiting for someone else (i.e. the government) to solve our problems should not be seen as a self-fulling act is certainly a mystery to us.

We're not in 5th grade so we cannot comment on the deplorable state of Civics 101 in the state's classrooms as Heffner contends so, as always, we welcome the comments of those in better position to opine on the same.

4 comments:

K T Cat said...

Isn't a lack of political involvement a good thing?

Dean said...

KT, that's a great point. Because transparent, efficient and limited governance means NOT having to attend tedious Tuesday evening city council meetings.

steve said...

From out here, it looks like you guys vote for services and for tax cuts. Not a good combination.

Steve

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