Repost: Is Politics Broken?

This is part of a post that I wrote back in May of this year. It was before the election had started and I was remarking how Canada’s democracy was in trouble. I’ve added to it because 37 days into this election, there are points that I think need to be addressed.

Although we are known as one of the world’s leading successful democracies, we have slowly started to take this democracy for granted. Year after year, voter turnout has declined – current youth voter engagement in the political process is extremely low, the lowest of all age demographics. It’s very telling; Canadians are checking out of our democracy in droves.

When I hear about people (especially young people) not voting,  I get that frustrated. I get that vibrating due to such strong emotion angry. I don’t care if you don’t support the same person as I do. I don’t care if you vote differently than I do. I don’t care if you spoil your ballot (which is an option and sends a strong message too.) I care that you don’t vote. Democracy is not a spectator sport – your city and your country needs you to be on the field.  We all need to step up.

Some recent statistics about youth participating in politics:

  • Younger age groups are less likely to be registered as electors for a variety of reasons, including lack of interest or initiative and high mobility rates (Elections Canada Report on Voter Turnout for 2011 Federal General Election, retrieved here)
  • As of 2011, the total population for the 18-24 age range was 3,075,277 (Stats Canada 2011 census data, retrieved here)
  • In the 2011 election, 61.2% of Canadian youth did not vote – that’s over 1.8 Million young Canadians (courtesy YLC data)

I see these statistics and I am troubled. When did we start taking our civic responsibilities for granted?  When did ‘civic responsibilities’ become something to be scoffed at, something scorned or something forgotten altogether? The millennial generation is among the most informed and educated, and among the least engaged in the political process. The issues that are being debated now, such as income inequality and environmental measures, are issues that will affect the millennial generation the most in coming years. Young people need to take their seat at the table. Every vote matters. If all youth showed up to vote, it would dramatically change the outcome of the federal election.

But all is not lost. The Young Liberals of Canada have started a new campaign that is going to be crucial during the next half of Election 42. #GenerationTrudeau is about Young Canadians supporting Justin Trudeau for a once-in-a-generation opportunity to change Canada.

“We are building this movement together. It is the movement with which we will change politics.”

– Justin Trudeau

Election 42 is an incredibly important election, one that will have long-lasting ramifications. Whether you’re Liberal or not, it’s important to get out and vote. Visit Elections Canada for more information on voting.

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About Dani K

Passionate young professional with a commitment to positive change. Partisan politico. Sometimes runner.
This entry was posted in Diary Of A Campaign Volunteer and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Repost: Is Politics Broken?

  1. Rod Salm says:

    Apathy and ignorance fueled by a never ending stream of bad press from politicians are typical reasons for not voting. For youth, it also has to do with impact. When you have very little in life (no house, no car, maybe a crappy job) they tend to think that politics doesn’t affect them. You see this in lower wage earners as well.

    Politics is expensive. Politicians deal with large amounts of money (Canada’s bank account), it takes large amounts of money to run, and it takes large amounts of money to have influence if you aren’t in politics (generalization on that one). By it’s very nature, it’s exclusionary to low income earners, students and working poor alike. So with that in mind, it’s very easy to see why they wouldn’t care about a system that they can barely participate in let along influence directly..

    This is, of course, no excuse and a load of horse droppings. There was a time when only property owners could vote and the poor managed to change that. Politics HAS changed so anyone can vote and make change. Sure it’s one vote among thousands that play into an even bigger game so each vote may seem like a grain of sand on a beach but I wish youth and low income earners would keep this in mind: you only have to have a few grains of sand in your underwear to make you want to change it.

    Rod Salm

    Liked by 1 person

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