Youth Week is coming up in Rossland in just a couple days with a film festival, variety show and many different activities for the younger generations.
But what about focusing youth on something that may change the future of this country? Voting.
Youth voter numbers for federal elections have plumetted over the past couple decades, beginning as early as the 1970s and 80’s. In 2011 less than 40 per cent of youth in Canada made the decision to vote.
While some say voting may be useless in the end, or, “one vote doesn’t mean anything,” it’s certain that when 60 per cent of a demographic isn’t voting, that means something.
Not only has the general public picked up on this, the government has taken note as well and they seem to be using this as a signal of sorts.
The current party in parliament has many initiatives and sugar coated plans for those more likely to vote; the middle aged and especially the seniors.
However, not much is coming out of these parties for individuals new to the workforce, the unwed and younger people in general.
If people want a change and younger people want more from their government, they have to make those in power deliver.
While the local council has already had their elections and are firmly in office and are looking to communicate with the community as much as they can, maybe the next step could be more youth engagement.
An initiative being spearheaded by multipile councillors in the neighbouring municipality of Castlegar is one to get council meetings to be taken place and viewed in the grade schools.
Things like this are a great step towards preparing younger voters and familiarizing them with the very confusing and convoluted world of politics in which they are expected to contribute.
The circle is dangerous and endless when it comes to youth engagement and their general feeling of apathy towards it. The young don’t care to vote, so the ones in charge don’t care to reach them. It will be difficult to re-engage younger people but doing nothing will only make things worse. After all, what happens down the road when all that’s left are people without care for the voting process?