Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The youth are really going to vote this time!

According to one survey, 88% of 18-24 year olds intend to vote. If the historical trend continues, over 60% of young Canadians will get lost on the way to the voting booth in January, as the number that vote is typically less than 25%. Why do we do this every time there's an election? Some people insisting the youth are really engaged this time, others offering reasons why the mainstream parties turn young voters off. Most young people are self-absorbed and apathetic. But this is nothing new, young people have never voted in numbers comparable to the rest of the population. Once they start paying taxes and becoming responsible members of society, they will start to vote. Or they won't. Either way, it doesn't matter. Do we really want people who don't feel informed enough to vote voting? There is no reason for a 20-year to be any less informed than a 40-year old, except they can't be bothered to inform themselves.

And that old line about how young people aren't engaged because the parties aren't addressing their issues? Bullshit. You either care about the world outside your immediate reality or you don't. What issues is it exactly that will get 18-24 year olds engaged? And will we want to waste our election cycle talking about them if we figure out what they are?

1 comment:

Sass said...

Seriously Bitter Lemon, this is the state of affairs in an ever increasingly paternalistic Canada where we need to constantly cater to "special groups", hold their hand, and guide them through life because god forbid they think for themselves and act as responsible individuals.

National Child Care programs, constant whining about increased funding for post secondary education through my tax dollars, a total lack of interest, concern or determination to take any kind of role in the world, the running mantra of "those dumb ass Americans" and the abiding commitment to the sacred text that is the Canada Health Act. This my dear Bitter Lemon is the 21st Century Canadian. How can we possibly expect the young ones to vote if we don't talk about their self-centred issues in their language (on MuchMusic because they don't watch anything else and that's our fault not theirs). Oh, and it's the middle of winter -- and I know Iraqis are going to the polls with the threat of death but seriously Lemon -- it's really cold outside, and they probably have a class that day. We're clearly failing in our guardianship, maybe we should offer some subsidized shuttle service to get them out to the polling station. Or better yet, an incentive, come out and vote and be entered into a contest for your chance to win two tickets to "insert name of cool artist" concert, or trip to Florida for Reading Week.
Oh Canada, our home and native land...