Is it youth voter apathy or disillusionment?


On May 2, I will become another twenty-something who doesn’t vote.

There are a lot of theories as to why young people don’t vote; the most common being that we don’t care. This is the theory thought up by middle-aged and senior voters; the majority of whom wouldn’t try find out the real reason out of sheer contempt brought on by their perceived reason. Instead, they prefer to use different campaign strategies and technologies and see the stats after the fact.

While some youth may flat-out not care, the majority of youth I know, and myself, see the flaws in a system the older generation has been habitually conditioned to believe in. In the grade 11 cirriculum, parliament is described as the place where MPs gather to represent their riding’s views on policy. The youth then head out to the real world, and see the paradox. No matter which party you vote for, you are voting for a party, not a representative.

In the ideal, confederate father’s world, candidates present ways they would try to bring their riding’s voice to government. In the real, special-interest driven world, groups of like-minded individuals form a business called a “party”. These parties then present their product, their policy views, to voters in an election, and force them to settle for “good enough”. In short, we’re supposed to elect MPs to represent our interests in parliament. What we have is a system in which MPs represent their party’s interests, and then defend said party from us.

I’ll be the first to admit nothing could ever perfect, but in Canada, our system of government actually works vice versa to how it was designed. Somebody call the Guiness people. The youth don’t vote because we have a fresher memory of the way things should work, and we refused to support a system that doesn’t work by participating in it.

Jordan Braun, Aldergrove