For many years, we got used to the fact that on average 30 percent of people do not vote. Yet, in an era of authoritarian rise, 30 percent of the vote can be the threshold needed to grab power. Sadly, parties with non democratic tendencies are the ones understanding that to get in office, they need the vote of those traditionally not voting. We are not talking about youth—we are talking about those deeply discontent with the system and marginalised by the political mainstream. Those parties are not targeting those non voters with national campaigns and big political speeches—they go local and use community engagement.
Luckily, a quiet revolution is underway in democratic parties and some are shifting to engage the local disenchanted communities.
As the concept of community engagement—pioneered by renowned Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz—gains traction, it is becoming evident that connecting with local communities is the most effective strategy for mobilising non-voters.