To the editor:
Re: Barry Gerding’s editorial May 23 about youth not being interested in politics. (Let’s Face the Reality—Politics and Voting is for Us Old Fogeys.)
I’m rounding up to 40 myself, so can’t really be categorized as “youth” anymore. I’ve taken on all of the typical adult responsibilities such as having children, getting a job, owning a home and paying taxes.
But despite my grown-up status, I still find politics boring and somewhat confusing. Especially Canadian politics, which I would go so far as to say is yawn-inducing.
I know I should care more. I contribute heavily to the tax base that pays these politicians’ salaries. I do care enough to vote, but still don’t really understand each party’s full platform.
In a young person’s world, they are concerned with getting a first job and maybe making more than minimum wage so they can pay for their over-inflated government owned car insurance. They want to know that they can afford to go to university or college and then have a job when they’re done educating themselves.
Pensions may be a concern to them, but likely it’s more of a concern to their parents—and at the tender age of 20, 55 is really old and a long ways away.
If politics is to be geared more towards the youth, then the politicians need to become more youthful too. The people in “the club” now have been there so long, they’ve lost touch with the real world and what’s actually causing people grief.
And if they are aware, they’ve done a great job of ignoring what the people want.
All today’s youth hear is how terrible the politicians are and how they don’t listen anyways, so what’s the point of voting—Ummm, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t youth often complain that adults never listen to them and ignore what they’re asking for? And yet, we want them to take an active role in politics and voting? We, as adults, can’t get the politicians to listen to us!
I’m not saying the apathetic attitude youth have towards voting is a good or acceptable stance. But I really do understand why there’s such a lack of interest—even at the municipal level—towards voting. Nothing seems to change, and even though the people we are voting for now will affect the youth 20 years from now, it’s actually the here and now that youth are concerned with—jobs, education, affordable living—and maybe a little bit of fun can be thrown in there somewhere too.