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Think of the Youth

It seems that these days, election time has become very repetitive. Campaign trails are mounted and platforms are discussed and all this leads to politicians saying the same things over again without much thought being put into anything. Lower taxes, higher wages, kiss a baby’s forehead as they run out of the room and we have a full on successful campaign that will gain traction instantly. The same promises are said and the same lines are created whether it be the Conservative Party or the Liberal one, the political scene has become a gigantic pit of cheesy campaign slogans and forgotten promises.

But in the midst of all this political hustle and bustle, one segment of society floats right beneath the radar although it carries a decent amount of influence when it comes to result night. The youth seem to have become apathetic towards this crucial democratic process and everyone is starting to wonder exactly why that’s happening. Whether it’s locally or internationally, the generation of young adults is finding trouble defining themselves politically and choosing parties to subscribe to because none of them actually speak to them. We are just not being targeted by politicians when they are mounting their campaign and so this leads many to stay out of politics because it just doesn’t speak our language.

During the Quebec provincial elections, young adults became very engaged in the politics because they were dragged in on various levels. The fact that many students attempted to vote and were not given that right led to many more to express their concern to the media and make sure that they went out and performed their civic duty. Marois and her Charter of Rights also sparked many debates among the youth who were concerned for their personal rights to wear whatever they pleased more so than their parents. Movements were created and protests took place that were organized by the youth who made sure everyone who was able to vote did so on election day.

Why did it take such drastic measures for the youth to come out and perform such a crucial duty in a democratic country?

Internationally speaking, the US has clearly coloured states when it comes to electing a president. They know that no matter who is running the show, the blue states will vote blue and the red ones will vote red. This is set in stone and will never change no matter what happens. But this phenomenon causes the youth, who’s apathy has reached new levels in America, to not even bother going out to vote. It seems as though their voice won’t change anything because the majority vote is already predetermined based on whichever neighbourhood one takes up residence.

The fact of the matter remains that if we feel that our voices will not be heard, we won’t bother going out to vote especially since we already feel alienated when it comes to the campaign trails. Politicians are not engaging a very important segment of society even though doing so would be very easy and would have great results in return.

We are the generation of social media. Our generation has mounted revolutions through the use of Facebook pages and changed the face of some countries forever. The fight for the right to vote is in some places a daily one; and it will continue until politicians respond. And yet, after we revolutionize, we are pushed aside as the adults take over and are asked to leave because it’s time for big people to talk as it is the case in Egypt. The youth changed the face of the country, and now they are ostracized and are told by politicians that they are too young to understand.

We need politics to move into the 21st century and realize that without an online presence the youth will probably not react to anything. Politicians need to get familiar with these tools and rather than discuss taxes that they will not lower and wages they will not increase, get down to the nitty gritty details of what actually matters and particularly, what matters to the generation of the future. Investing in the youth is an investment in their future; a Facebook page, a YouTube channel and a twitter handle that will embrace the online world and will engage those that are always on the net will help the youth feel more involved and lead them to feel that their voices do make a difference.

We are the ones that take to the streets first when something is bothering us, we are the ones that are most vocal when it comes to issues on our minds and we are the ones whose lives will be greatly affected by decisions that are made today as we are the future of our countries. That being said, politicians need to engage us and encourage us to join the sphere of politics. They need to learn our language and use it to talk to us and ask us what we see for the future of our homes. Without us, they are fighting a losing battle.

Prince Arthur Herald
Photo Credit: Twitter, @MattyFanatic