Sunday, March 29, 2015

Why Young Canadians Can Help Build a Better Canada

As you probably know, I believe that one of the most important things progressives must do is reach out to young Canadians and encourage them to vote.

Not just because if they did vote in greater numbers we could crush the ghastly Cons who are destroying our country and torching their future.

But also because they could help build a better Canada. 

Canadians under 35 are more left wing than the rest of Canada and could transform the political landscape if only they voted, according to a new study.

“Young Canadians from nearly all of the socio-demographic groups and provinces examined were more likely than older Canadians to desire an activist government; want more social spending; be socially liberal; and favour higher taxes in exchange for better public services,” Prof. McGrane says in the study’s conclusion.

Help build a better country, and help save the earth for them and their children.

On the question of the environment and jobs, younger Canadians were less likely to accept that jobs should take precedence over protecting the environment.

But of course this is the problem...

History shows, however, that young people are significantly less likely to actually get to a polling station and vote. 

The lowest rate of voter turnout was among 18-to-24-year-olds, only 39 per cent of whom cast a ballot, and next lowest was among 25-to-34-year-olds, who turned out at a rate of 45 per cent, according to Elections Canada. Meanwhile, the voting rate was 75 per cent for those 65-74.

And it is a vicious circle. Because they don't vote, the political parties don't reach out to them. And because they don't reach out to them, the young feel excluded from the political process, they don't see the parties of agents of change, and in this distracted internet age it's all to easy to ignore them.

But although in this aging country it's also easy to blame the young for that situation, while forgetting that their unemployment rate is twice the national average, and that many are being crushed by the weight of massive student loans, I blame the political parties.

For if the young are as progressive as that study shows, and they are willing to put their bodies on the line, as thousands of them have been doing the last two nights in Montreal.

Protesting against austerity and economic inequality and xenophobia, and for women's rights and the future of the planet...

Being brutalized by the police...

With pepper spray, tear gas, and stun grenades.

And back...

It seems to me that the progressive parties should be doing a better job of harnessing that youthful activism, if they are serious about crushing the Cons. And their failure to do so is a failure of will and a failure of the imagination.

And the best news? You really are as young as you feel. 

Harry Smith is 92, and he's one of my super heroes. 

Veteran Harry Smith warns that Stephen Harper's "politics of austerity" will return Canada "to the dog-eat-dog world of the 1930s."

In a blistering attack on the Prime Minister, broadcast Saturday at the Broadbent Institute's Progress Summit 2015, the 92-year-old Smith said Harper "has treated veterans with disdain, intimidated scientists, environmentalists, and most importantly the poor," "robbed the vulnerable" and "enriched the 1% at the expense of the 99%."

Because if he can fight so strongly and so eloquently for justice at his age, ANYBODY of any age can.

And I would be proud to march with him in a young army like this one...

Because when I saw them marching like that through my old neighbourhood three years ago, I knew that they could help us defeat Harper's filthy government, and help save this country and the world.

Which is why I'm doing my best to harness that energy, and encourage young Canadians to vote in the next election. Everybody should.

Let's reach out to them, join them in the streets.

And make this a summer of protest...

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Omar said...

Quebec is the only province worth its salt in this entire stumblebum Confederation. The rest of us aren't worthy.

Anonymous said...

I agree! Why can't other provinces rise up as Quebec does?

Simon said...

hi Omar...well as you know I'm biased in that regard. But I must say when I look at what's happening there, and how quiet it is in the rest of the country, never mind the two solitudes, it's two separate realities...