The CBC has been on a fact-finding mission; they want to know why so many people, and young people in particular, are uninvolved in politics. They have asked ‘experts’ (self-proclaimed, no less) to chime in, they have brought forth their own opinions, they have even tried to compare politics to sporting events. None of it has brought them any closer to the truth.
There are many legitimate reasons for the lack of interest, but none of these have been considered. Young people are not uninterested in politics; young people are uninterested in politicians. If anyone doubts this, they need only try to tell a young person what to do (or what not to do.) The youth are fiercely independant and do not easily subject themselves to the trappings of authority, to their credit. The youth have always been an energetic and enthousiastic voice for change when it was needed (do you remember the ‘Printemps Érable’?) They just don’t like the system as it stands, and they are simply not hypocritical enough to use it for the obtention of their objectives. After all, politics is full of old people, and old people don’t listen to the young.
This is not about apathy. If the youth understood to what extent politics affects their lives, they would say so aggressively. Futility is probably a better word. No matter how hard we push, some things never get done, some promises are never kept, and some people can never be trusted. In essence, trust in the government is a more important consideration. Dissatisfaction with the results of misplaced trust is another leading factor. Politicians tend to promise many things which they cannot deliver, whether or not they know this when making those promises speaks to the trust issue once again. Is it ignorance or deception? If we do not know, we will assume the worst. Neither do we seem surprised if it is deception. For once, we might say, expectations were met. If the above reasons are true (or can be shown to have some merit,) the only conclusion we can come to is that there is a tremendous waste of time and money involved.
With apathy not being the case, and futility, dissatisfaction, and mis-trust being the key issues, how can we re-engage the populace to take more action when it comes to picking a leader? Given that most leaders tend to act in similar fashion when elected, and that most of them are not particularily charismatic to begin with, perhaps, as was positied by one of the CBC’s guest analysts, all which needs be done is to jazz up the look of advertising. Saying that the young are so superficial that an improved ad campaign would change everything is naive and insulting. The truth is that the ads reflect the state of politics: black and white and boring, the way it should be. We certainly don’t need to put lipstick on this pig; we need to explain that this is where bacon comes from.