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.