Kids these days


Lawrence Martin laments that all the kids want to do is laugh at their smut. Alison Loat suggests the kids and their smut are not the source of the problem. David Eaves suspects elderly columnists need to get their bifocal prescriptions adjusted and look harder. Loat wraps the discussion into one smutless blog post and concludes:

If we don’t all do what we can to make politics more inspiring, to treat people who pursue public life or advance public ideas with respect and to strengthen the culture of public service in Canada and beyond, our potential for achieving great things will dimish significantly.


Kids these days

  1. "If you're not liberal when you're young, you have no heart. If you're not conservative by the time you grow up, you have no brain."

    I forget who said it, but I've often thought that the main problem in our society is that a lot of people never grow up.

    • I think the most common form is "If you're not a socialist when your twenty …."

      Over the years, I have seen this one attributed to everyone from Oscar Wilde to Winston Churchill which leads to me to suspect the original was some more or less unknown.

      When I was twenty I was dedicated Beerist and I have never regretted that stand.

    • I don't know who said it either, but I've often thought that people grow up too fast and take themselves and their lives much, much too seriously.

  2. I'm all for disengaged youth.

    One of the worst aspects of politics right now is that there are so many involved, from the staff level to elected officials who have never down anything else in their lives – and this is across party and ideological lines.

    Have fun, drink a bit too much, listen to loud music, experiment (you know what I mean), help those not as fortunate as yourself and be happy.

    There's enough time to get involved in the dark arts of politics when you've gained some experience and have actually lived life a little.

    … oh, and don't forget to grow up at some point (but not in the Gaunilon sense).

    • They could read books a little more though.

      • Agreed.

  3. As one of those sub-25 year olds in the disengaged generation, I'd have to say a major demotivator in getting involved in politics is the disconnect between what happens Ottawa (or in provincial or local politics) and what happens in our lives. Unless a policy directly affects tuition costs, food costs or housing costs in a meaningful way, there's little reason to care. There are, of course, big picture things that will have long-lasting and dramatic effects on my generation, but those who are interested enough to care are often too busy to get truly involved, or are one the few who are already heavily involved.

    Basically, there's nothing important enough to warrant our attention. The most contentious policy debates recently have been largely about mundane things such as stimulus spending or the GST – and except for the fiasco leading up to the prorogation, the debate has largely been about the details, not the greater picture. We don't have a real health care debate. Our social security in Canada is relatively sound. No Iraq to rally against and the Afghanistan debate has been muted lately. The only social issue to rally about was climate change and since Dion left, that debate has also fallen silent. Every issue we might care about is either largely solved or, at least temporarily, dead. So, we've lost interest.

    • Very good post, and frankly an symptom across the entire electorate not just youth.

  4. anyone who tries to create words like dimish – is just striving to be a pale imitation of Kady O'Malley IMO!

  5. It's always struck me as normal and healthy to care more about love, volleyball and wakeboarding when you're under 25 and I always admire kids who don't particularly care about politics.

    I think what is driving Lawrence Martin is a weird fantasy that all these kids are going to be more liberal in the small-l sense. It's a recurring fantasy in lots of places. When I was growing up in Quebec sovereigntists used to look at polls showing that most people of us then under 25s would vote yes and salivate. The problem is that we all grew up and became more informed and realized it was a stupid, impractical idea. Those kids who all want to vote Green now will also grow up and they'll vote 34.1 % Conservative, 32.1 Liberal, 15 % (N)DP and the remainder for whatever fringe party is around then.

    PS: Didn't anyone else have their afternoon cocktail come out their noses after reading Lawrence Martin! talking about "boring old guys" with an apparently straight face?

    • I think you about nailed it. This article could have been written in the mid 80's as well.

      Larry should stick to writing what he knows about, Chretien era Liberal Politics or a nice update of Presidents and Prime Ministers.

      It wasnt the afternoon cocktail that came out my nose, it was my morning coffee.

      • For me, it was my morning cocktail.

  6. Being under 25 and all, I care very much about politics but only federal. Provincial and municipal is small time.

    • Now this is where I have to weigh in – I used to have the same perspective as you (back in my wild under 25 days – I'm now 28). I thought Federal was all that mattered. In today's world, particularly if you live in Ontario, particularly if you live in Toronto, here is the order in which governments can have the greatest influence on your life:

      1. Municpal
      2. Provincial
      3. Federal

      I wish people paid more attention to municipal politics.

      The truth is David Miller has done more to !@$# me than Stephen Harper or Dalton McGuinty ever could.

      • Good thing I don't live in Toronto. I do understand, after seeing the fiasco of the garbage strike in TO how much the municipal government has an influence on THAT; however, I find the issues discussed at the federal level to be much more compelling, ie international policy, finance, EI, healthcare,etc… either way, federal politicians are more interesting than all the other ones.

  7. I wonder how much declining voting rates among youths has to do with the fact that today's youth are generally starting their work careers later because they are staying in school longer. I know many people who suddenly got alot more interested when they saw how much of their paycheque was going to the government.

  8. Quick note : Aristotle wrote a paper stating how "kids these days don't respect their elders and will be the end of civilization because of how irresponsible they are".

    Oh, yawn.