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Waiting for Gen Y's

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Where are you guys? Gen X asking here.

As a mature woman, and mother, I'm often surprised by Gen Xers who seem to be apathetic when it comes to politics. Even more to my dismay, when these Gen Xers are young women. Their reasons may surprise you. It isn't because they don't like any candidates, or party in particular and it isn't because they don't care about issues. The reason is

that they think they don't matter-that their vote doesn't count.

Their ballot cast in an election is felt as a potential detriment to the process because nothing to do with them, involves politics. That their opinion doesn't matter and their existence within society is not important enough to need to vote.


Nothing could be further from the truth!

Every aspect of our lives is interwoven with politics. The wage you earn, how your tax dollars are spent, the school you attend, the resources used to build your phone; everything you deem valuable makes it's way through our parliamentary halls throughout the country and the world. From who can vote, the everyday things you buy for yourself and your family, the prices at the grocery stores, the ingredients in cosmetics and personal hygiene products, to the safety and state of our roads, and infrastructure- all of these things pass through our legislative halls at some point, on some level. All of these things affect you and you affect policies by being an informed voter. It's not only your right, but also your duty. Your experience matters. We need you to speak your truth if only by casting an informed ballot. Society is molded by people sharing their truths through our electoral system.



 

It's not your fault.

Many of you in this age bracket get much of your information from osmosis. Learned attitudes from your upbringing and parents instead of experiential learning and this is not to say your parents aren't informed guide posts but you're too young to have a broad understanding of historical undercurrents of the parties and those within and running them. Growing up in a world of algorithms further limits a broad understanding of these and issues at hand.

With politics being ever more divided, and the almighty algorithm in the lead, news stories are partisan more now than ever before. News these days is being sold as a left or right leaning viewpoint, often opinion and not straight up bipartisan facts, that do not garner our own critical thinking skills. If one doesn't have a historical frame of reference, it's difficult to make an informed decision, and that goes for everyone, not just you, our electoral youth. Perhaps that is by design, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.


 

Politics 101

Here's a brief synopsis of our parties here, in Canada. We'll start with the governing party The Liberal Party of Canada, otherwise known as leftists, Grits, or Snowflakes. Don't worry, each party will be equally represented with their slang terms here. The Liberal Party of Canada has pumped out members such as our current Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his father, Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. The latter as being known for the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. A liberal could be said to have a "got to spend money to make money" attitude. The New Democratic Party or NDP as it's more commonly known, is often touted as a "socialist" party by Conservatives, but that word made dirty is often misconstrued. They are also known as leftists, similar to their Liberal counterparts. NDP'ers are famous for union support and power to the people types, choosing to invest in the little guy and social programs. Both Liberal and NDP policies see importance of investing in people through social program spending. The Conservatives are stark contrast to these two left leaning parties and in fact have little history as the true Blue Tories as they are known of yesteryear. After losing official party status, they joined with the Reform Party of Canada in 2000. The party is often divided on social issues as it has a large rightwing religious electorate since the amalgamation. Deemed rightwing nut jobs by some leftists, ( fair is fair after all) earlier versions of conservatism might be seen to have been big on small government and the private sector and prides itself on being fiscally conservative. Some recent Conservative provincial leaders are still proponents for privatized healthcare even while witnessing the disastrous effects of this system south of our border.

 

Ostriching is easy.

Some people choose to shove their head in the sand as issues are often inconvenient in politics. but the most important thing you can do is to get informed and base your decisions with a foundation of compassion and a dose of empathy and that will give a basis for understanding the things that seem they don't directly affect you. It may surprise you that the things you think don't affect you, actually do.

As we're seeing in the current invasion by Russia on Ukraine, we are feeling the conflict at our local level every time we put gas in our vehicles. See how interconnected things are? Politics has everything to do with you and you are important. You are so very important for our present and our future. Know how important your thoughts and opinions are. Get involved, and learn our political history. If we don't know our history, we can't know to not make the same mistakes again. No matter your views, learn about the parties, and their history. Stand up, show up; our world is waiting and counting on your youthful brilliance!




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