Many reasons for low ‘young voter’ turnout

Dear editor,

I have a few comments about the interesting and timely article in the Record (Tuesday, Sept. 8) on low voter turnout among the younger demographic.

Firstly, most issues are not age-related. We are all equally affected by the medical system, the environment, education policies, public security and the tax systems that support them.

Secondly, if we take the time to read their platforms, we discover that some parties do have policies that directly affect youth including reduced or free university tuition.

And thirdly, I would question the assumption that “graphs show that people become more interested and active in politics as they age.” Most seniors today have been politically active all their lives. We  can only hope that the youth of today won’t remain politically disengaged into their middle and late years.

Young people have told me they don’t vote because they aren’t sure who to vote for. But if you have looked into the issues and read the party platforms and yet remain uncertain, this might be a good thing. Bertrand Russell once said, “the trouble with the world is that fools are certain, and wiser people are filled with doubt.”

People who are certain are often following their “gut feelings.” But our guts are easily influenced by political ads, image makers, prejudices and simplified or trivial issues. Most serious problems don’t have perfect solutions, and policies can often be logically argued both ways. Our job as voters is to do our homework and make a decision based on our core values and our best judgment at a given time.

Democracy exists only in theory. If we don’t participate, we don’t have it.

Erik Taynen

Courtenay

 

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