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International -- Readers Report
There Are Good Reasons for Voter Apathy (int'l edition)
I was appalled to read in "Europe's perilous leadership vacuum" (European Business, Oct. 9) that Italian and French voters are "resigned to incompetence and corruption in high places." These remarks are all the more surprising, coming from a country where voter participation barely reaches 50%, even on most important elections. In continental Europe we have had historically far larger participation.
People's decreasing interest in politics is a very recent problem, mainly caused by the general trend towards bipartisan systems, imported from the Anglo-Saxon world. These systems reduce differences between parties and frequently create a rush towards the center that flattens down real issues and competition among politicians.
Talking about competence, in the U.S. there is a Presidential candidate who openly says he can solve energy problems with Soviet-style solutions: new nuclear reactors and exploitation of wells located in natural reserves. Reducing consumption and pushing alternative energy sources are the only viable answers both in the short and the long term. This same candidate is well known for having large interests in the oil industry.