Somewhere between the plethora of poorly narrated commercials and the miserably photoshopped Facebook attack ads, you may have noticed that we’re in the middle of what can (all-in-all) be considered an unnecessarily long election.
As the young citizens of Canada, we will head to the polls with vigour, valour, and (in most cases) utter disappointment on October 19th, 2015, hoping to bring change or (what some would consider to be) renewed stability to the 2nd largest (at least in size) country in the world. Us, the arguably “disengaged" youth, are usually scapegoated as the generation no longer interested in participating in the democratic process; something once cherished by millions as a sacred means of deciding the fate and future of one’s country.
While it may be true that we don’t turn out in droves to cast our ballots or make our voices heard, I’d like to believe that it’s for a number of valid reasons. Like many of my peers, I consider our electoral system to be heavily flawed and incredibly skewed. A lack of proportional representation coupled with leadership that fails to speak to young people in an engaging and meaningful way makes for a potent cocktail of political disengagement and inevitable apathy.
Increasing debt, high unemployment, under-utilization of a young, skilled and educated populous coupled with an increased breach in civil liberties from both sides of the political aisle have created an unsustainable, toxic political climate.
While young, I remember when times were different. I remember growing up in a country where campaigns were run on mutual respect. Where despite your political affiliation, being Canadian came before being a Conservative, a Liberal or a New Democratic.
Truthfully, our apathy is simply a symptom of a system unwilling to engage with a generation tired of being forgotten about.
A generation that is driven into debt with no opportunities for sustainable income straight out of college or university.
A generation whose collective voice is not heard.
A generation untapped.