Also, they’re all on drugs


Time for another round of “Why don’t the kids like the politics?”

With hindsight, we now see that the identity of the 19th-century farmer was being transformed into the 20th-century city dweller. Governments responded with a wide range of new initiatives to help people adjust to the new world, such as mass education, new labour laws, health care, career planning, unemployment insurance, and pension schemes.

Such initiatives redefined the role of government by redefining the identity of citizens; and, in the process, reshaped the political discourse of the day. By contrast, it is not even clear that governments today recognize the special identity challenge facing young people.

Well that or young people don’t particularly see anything worth believing in.


Also, they’re all on drugs

  1. It does seem like government is still much more responsive to baby boomers than their kids.

  2. You know, with dismal voter turnouts being perhaps the best evidence, it isn't just young people that don't care about politics. And having worked on a campaign, knocking on literally hundreds, possibly thousands of doors over at least six months last year, I don't think I could count on both hands and feet the number of times I heard from a female voter "Oh, I don't know. I just vote whatever my husband votes" or from a male voter "They're all assholes anyway. I'll vote, but it doesn't really matter who I vote for, does it?", or from an old voter "Well, he's no Trudeau/Deifenbaker/Pearson etc., so I haven't really made up my mind".

    But what did I hear from many, many young voters?

    "I want to vote, but I don't know what they stand for. It seems like they just talk and talk, but I never see anyone offer to help me pay for school, fix the environment, end poverty, etc. Anyway, I don't know how or where to vote."

    • It seems like they just talk and talk, but I never see anyone offer to help me pay for school, fix the environment, end poverty, etc.

      Really? Your theory is that young voters are turned off by insufficient wildly impossible promises?

      • Was that the theory? I thought I was commenting on my most common experience door-to-door election canvassing. And young voters aren't "turned off". They're never "turned on" to begin with. They don't know how to vote, and nobody excites them enough to bother learning how. I say this as a rare 20 something "young person" who has voted since I turned 18, watching most of my friends, and the friends of my siblings not bother.

        No, if I had a loose theory here, it would probably be this:

        Every demographic has large swaths of people who are apathetic about politics. Young, old, male, female, etc. Even among those who typically vote, most are apathetic and vote based on the same criteria they use to choose coke or pepsi (tradition + better advertising + what's on sale) without giving much else a second thought.

  3. I've yet to see any real or substantial research underpinning a lot of this. The tone of these discussions strikes me as vaguely "Oprah-ish" More like exercises in boosting self-esteem than genuine examination.

  4. Young people aren't old enough yet; wait a couple years and they'll be interested in/depressed by politics like the rest of us.

    • I'm 20 and I love politics.

      • same

  5. Clearly they're asking the wrong people. Most "kids" are kinda slow and stupid when it comes to politics. But hey, go on a university campus and you'll find a lot of bright stars. Hahaha for real.