Friday, April 22, 2011

Why the Youth Vote Alone Can't Save Us

In this darkest of elections it is the brightest light of hope. The sight of thousands of Canadian students answering Rick Mercer's call to get out and vote.

And making all kinds of great vote mob videos, like this one from McMaster University...

In a weary cynical world, I find that idealism and energy so inspiring. I don't think I could continue without it.

But the truth is that alone, the youth vote can't save us. It could make a huge difference.

What does seem possible is that if youth turned to the degree that their parents and grandparents do — say 65 per cent — they would most likely be difference makers, especially in tight ridings.

“You’d have bigger clout,” says pollster Frank Graves, founder of EKOS Research Associates. “You might see 20 seats change hands, even 30.”

But it probably won't, because after years of ignoring their concerns, getting the young to vote isn't that easy.

Like youth elsewhere, they are more transient, which makes it more of a pain to vote and be found by those seeking their votes. They have busy lives, they’re in debt and may be holding down several jobs. The local paper does not land at their doorstep and they don’t tune in to traditional news coverage.

So this election will be decided by seniors and boomers. Most of whom support the Cons. Which made me think eh? Shouldn't progressive older Canadians be appealing to THEIR generations, to get out there and defeat the Cons?

I could appeal to them myself. Ask them why they would vote for a monster like Harper? Who would destroy the freedoms they helped bring to life. Why would they let him torch the planet their grandchildren will live on? Why would they let him strangle our medicare system when they do or will soon need it the most?

And do they really want to leave this bitter legacy?

Indeed, as Canada’s current crop of seniors ages and literally dies out, so too will their clout. But what kind of government will they and the Baby Boomers after them leave behind? It may well be one shaped more by fear than by youthful optimism and issues like the environment, says Graves.

But each generation appeals to its own the best. So I'm challenging them to do that. Get that message out. Or ask them this?     

If it is indeed their last political hurrah, do they really want to go out to the dull thump of an executioner's drum in Harper's dark Canada?

Or would they rather go out singing this song?

Of course, I know the answer eh?

If old and young join together, we CAN defeat those bastard Cons.

Have a great weekend everybody !!!

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