This term is extremely suspect. It usually intends apathy from one type of politics (most typically representative democracy) whose pundits fail to see that non-participation is something itself deeply 'political'. Voter apathy? Those of us refusing to engage, or to concern oneself with the democratic 'procedure', so to speak, are keeping the political parties on their toes. Surely if they are that desperate for our audience they ought to find a genuine cause.
Often the argument against this nebulous foe runs that it is a responsibility or a duty to vote, as a duty to those for whom it once meant something. Voter participation is very much like Christmas: play the fucking game or get treated like shit for the next year. You might even get a present. Apathy is indifference, and when Santa won't play, it hurts. For this reason, apathy is a type of refusal, a form of anti-politics and a venerable demon for the alienated, non-mediated, otherwise disposed, despondent and dismissive class of opinon formers and vote hoarders, with their sheet clutching traumas of their own studied indifference. Enter the translucent incubi of voter apthaty and the most anti-democratic measures will be adopted to chain the booth to the boot. Indeed in some countries it is an criminal offence not to vote.
For political decisions to have any meaning - or indeed to be democratic - there must be genuine alternatives on offer. Apathy is only a problem for people who are looking to others to do something on their behalf. This is at root the problem of representative democracy and the very reason that we are beginning to witness a genuine shift, in line with the general transformation to the bio-political, from the government of the individual to the micro-management of populations and post-modern races.