I think it comes from government. I don't mean to sound like an anarchist but voter apathy never went away.
It had been there since all forms of government rose up. Even the typical village elder in the past is seen as the ultimate decider if not for the local medicine man or general.
...but that's the rub. This form of apathy had always existed. That's why even the American Republic or the American Independence had to have such things as the Constitution and Bill of Rights holding some very obvious guidelines. That's why even today the 10 Commandments is viewed as an early moral necessity and yet it's still debated up to today.
One could even say that any type of battle for Independence, Activist Revolt and People Power Revolution...as much as we all like to think that's the climax of human participation...well they might not be. They might be the incentives.
...and the incentives ...or rather the economic incentives...they never were incentives.
They were like disguised luxury for the poor. A sort of incentives for the rich, the powerful and even the middle class to think they are helping and I'm not saying they aren't helping. Those small things work towards big things but maybe just maybe... they don't change anything.
They may just be no different than band-aids only much more widespread than what the experts are normally accustomed to. (A synonymous effect to the Big Lie only positive like the Big Hope)
Maybe just as there's a case of being too poor
, we...or rather those that truly cared failed to account for a case of being too apathetic and that's why even the philosophical safeguards to reduce the potential of corruption in those who have power also loses it's value in favor of dogma, "formal" legislation and technicalities.