Back when Mayor Voted-Out last won, we had a whopping 26% turnout, which the paper routinely decried, yawn. Ex-Mayor-To-Be won that go-round with 60% of the vote. 15.6% of the potental voters, unless my flaky math gene is on the blink. ...This is winning by getting the left-handers to vote for you, or all of [name any smallish minority]. More people bought new cars than voted (which is probably an indication of which activity is more directly rewarding; no argument from me there).
Sure, the paper's right, more citizens ought to vote. --But prior to that, it'd be a real help if more citizens were citizens.
Many of my fellow libertarian gunbloggers speak very highly of the Constitution of the United States of America. It's certainly a magnificent effort, but let's be realistic: it is beta-level software at best, running with over two dozen major patches (some of them crufty indeed, like direct election of Senators and Income Tax) and uncounted minor ones. It's old software and like all early efforts, it is extremely hardware-dependant.
Not so much the "hardware" of buildings or even of institutions; no, the hardware in question is us, or what we were presumed to be by the Framers: a largely aware, informed and engaged electorate.
I do not so very much mind a 26% turnout if most of them have done their homework and the other nearly three-quarters have not; it keeps the idiots from pushing the rest of us around by their whims and makes my vote count all the more!
But do you really want me deciding who'll sit in the seats of power? My most conventional notions are shockingly radical when compared to the popular wisdom! They might even be far-out compared to many of the ideals you hold dear.
And I am probably one of the least inimical voters out there. If you've been sitting out elections, either to protest or avoid empowering a coercive system or simply because you believe it doesn't matter, it might be time to think again.
The software's old and flawed but it's running. It's probably fixable. If you want to keep it running, if you'd like to have a chance at making things better, maintain that portion of the hardware you control: yourself, your awareness and your vote.