Monty Python's "Constitutional Peasants" – What are your expectations of the political process?
CityCaucus.com is pleased to present a guest editorial from 24-year old Gabe Garfinkel, a political organizer who has worked in Toronto and Vancouver
As a politically active young person and a volunteer on several federal and provincial elections, I often get asked by other politicos and volunteers why I am so involved. The reason for this is simple: I believe that Canada’s democratic system rewards those who participate, and that the issues I care about will be better heard and represented by doing so. Indeed, I have lots of friends, peers and neighbours who have "better things to do with their time" than voting, so I stick out somewhat by being politically active.
I recently encountered some articles weighing into the debate about young people and politics. All of the pieces have merit, and each writer adds to the debate around the "democratic deficit" among youth today, but I disagree with some of their points which I'll explain further on.
The editorial by the Globe and Mail's Lawrence Martin is what kicked off the discussion. Titled If there's an inspiration deficit in our politics, blame it on the young, Martin uses the expression "Boring Old Guys" (BOGs) to describe the guys running the country. While I think 'BOGs' deserve some of the blame, young people have to share some of the responsibility for not getting involved. And in my opinion he fails to properly substantiate and connect the paragraph criticizing (my) under-25 generation to the rest of the article.