OTTAWA - Young Canadians have forfeited their "bitching rights" about how they're governed by disengaging from the political process, says Robert Fowler. "The civic and political literacy of young Canadians is appallingly low," the former Canadian ambassador to the United Nations told a group of University of Ottawa graduates Sunday. "Your age group's involvement in the political process, at all levels of government, stretches any reasonable definition of apathy."Since the Neoconservative movement has changed political discourse from things that really mattered to "lowering deficits", "reducing taxes", being "tough on crime", blah, blah, blah; our youth has been largely ignored.
Stephen Harper of course, doesn't want young people voting, because few of them would be voting for him. But what have the other parties done in terms of policy, to encourage young people to get involved?
Bill Maher said last week that if a politician promised to legalize pot, they would have more young people standing in line to cast their ballots, than anyone could imagine.
That doesn't mean that all young people would be in favour of legalizing pot, but at least it's an issue they can relate to.
Do you know what the most dangerous drug in the world is? Nicotine.
Recent studies have found that alcohol was the most dangerous substance, based on the overall danger to the individual and society.
And fewer people die from smoking marijuana, than die from taking Aspirin.
So what in the hell is wrong with our politicians?
- Young people don't give a damn if you're going to lower taxes. They need a job first. Put youth employment near the top of your list of priorities.
- Young people don't give a damn how high the friggin' deficit is. Legalize and tax pot, and poof - goodbye deficit (not to mention the savings in policing and PRISONS). They are more concerned with getting an education so they can compete for the few decent jobs left. Put post-secondary education near the top of your list of priorities.
- Young people don't give a flying fig about more prisons, being tough on crime or, building military jets. They know that Bin Laden is dead and the only reason we're engaged in the Middle East is for oil. What they do care about is the environment, poverty, homelessness and peace.
Get out and talk to them. Peruse the halls of high schools, colleges and universities. You won't find one damn sign flogging more prisons or tougher crime bills. Nor will you find any calling for a pre-emptive strike on Iran. Yet that's all our government thinks about.
This is the generation that will probably lose their health care. Throw that on the top of your list of priorities. Young people get sick too.
If the ruling elite doesn't change the channel soon this is only going to get worse.