Thursday, May 07, 2015

The Young Are Mobilizing


The conventional wisdom holds that the young are disengaged from politics. But Samantha Power writes that Rachel Notley's newly elected caucus is the youngest in Canada:

Many of the newly elected NDP MLAs in Alberta have never known another party to be in power. They are in their 20s and 30s. At that age, the thought of creating change in the province can be overwhelming. Forming a government itself seemed an unheard of proposition.

The 53-member caucus is younger and more diverse than any previous caucus of the past 44 years. Rachel Notley's New Democrat government has set the record for most women in caucus at 45 per cent. Openly gay MLAs have been elected for the first time in the province. And with MLAs in their early 20s, the median age of the caucus is about to drop. The elected party represents an Alberta that has been slowly changing, unnoticed to the rest of the country.

While the Harperites have been pitching to seniors like me, they've failed to notice that Alberta and the rest of the country is now much different than the nation of their imaginations. And they have purposely neglected the young -- even in their own back yard:

This shouldn't come as a surprise to Albertans themselves. The province has the youngest population in the country.

The median age, which is now more accurately reflected in its elected provincial representatives, is 36.5, four years younger than the national average. Alberta also has the highest proportion of people who are of working age, something that may have contributed to a growing concern among voters over class sizes in schools, daycare spending, and social services.

Even as a young man, Stephen Harper gave the impression that he was prematurely old. It may well be that the young will force him into premature retirement.


thwap said...

I think there are rational reasons not to bother with the youth vote.

Which is not to say that one should purposefully ignore the youth vote.

But when all is said and done, Canadian politics has been extreme in the way that it discourages the interested participation of the young.

Probably due to old ideas, cynicism, and then, the shameless corruption of most of our political class.

Owen Gray said...

Those reasons are quite accurate, thwap. However, I learned a long time ago that it's a mistake to take the young for granted.

They have a way of making life difficult if you ignore them.

Mogs Moglio said...

Some younger folks like to blame so-called baby boomers for everything wrong. Well I have been challenging the status quo vadis for forty years. It fell on deaf ears nobody was interested they were too busy living their lives. I asked them what are you going to do when the economic train goes over the cliff? As an analogy. It was either silence or a reply of can't you talk about how beautiful the weather is today?

In the mean time we were pumping so much carbon into the atmosphere and oceans we were choking our home planet earth. Man oh man I am glad/happy I never had children they would have to survive in the disgusting mess the powerful 1% and corporations left behind.

I am eternally grateful for the country life I was raised in and have no regrets. Gosh Owen we used to play pond hockey with the neighbor kids a mile up the road on our 88 acre horse ranch.

In the spring wow. In the summer I used to ride the 1/2 Quarter 1/2 Arabian horse down to the Elbow River at twin bridges. She would stop at the water line wait for me to dismount take off her bridle and saddle and saddle blanket then we would plunge into the crystal clear blue-green water where you could see the trout.

I hope these young persons in the NDP Alberta strike back against the corporations that are ruining that land. They used to call it gods country now it belongs to the devil but he just got thrown out!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers Owen cheers,

Owen Gray said...

If every Canadian kid could visit those turquoise blue rivers and streams you talk of, Mogs, he or she would understand why Stephen Harper should be tossed out of office.

The Mound of Sound said...

I know well what Mogs speaks of, Owen. Yet today's kids are removed from nature, slavishly attached to the never ending array of electronic devices that they simply must have.

Go to any mall and just watch them, never looking up but staring into a 4" screen while their thumbs blast away at a miniaturized keyboard. They're constantly connected in the most detached, isolated way.

Their world is not yours or that of our parents and grandparents. Theirs is a world in which the most fundamental rights and freedoms are discarded without a thought or else trampled upon without a whimper of protest. It's in a milieu such as theirs that democracy goes to die.

Owen Gray said...

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell complained back in 1973 that the world suffered from an "excess of democracy," Mound.

He was worried that the young might take over. He worked hard to see that they didn't. And he succeeded.

Mogs Moglio said...

Mound of Sound and Owen,

I recently came across a story that sent shivers down my spine. This is why they want kids hooked on electronics, the real reason here read and weep if you are a real human:

Kids need to drop the electronic crap and spend time in Nature. Then yes you are right Owen then they may understand what they are about to lose.

Also are they blind to the knowledge they are training to kill real people? One of the drone operators said that there was a wedding party in Iraq I think if memory serves. And there was one "bad guy" in it he was ordered to kill. So he launched his 'hellfire missile' into the wedding party that killed most everybody for one person.

He later regretted that action of his doing. He stated that a wedding is supposed to be a celebration and I ruined that now I have to live with this for my entire life. And Harper has the nerve to want to continue persecuting Omar Khadr? He was so wounded by shrapnel he could not possibly have thrown a grenade. Then the US 'Special Forces' who are a secretive bunch shot him. It is an amazing testament to him that he survived after 13 years of incarceration including torture in gitmo.

These things are nothing to cheer about except Omar's release.


Owen Gray said...

If you can keep the young comatose, Mogs, you've won half the battle.