Home The Kids Must Have Their Say

The Kids Must Have Their Say

by admin January 5, 2010

The Kids Must Have Their Say

by admin January 5, 2010

It is hard to imagine that just ten years ago humanity was collectively cowering in basements stocked to the ceiling with canned goods, waiting for airplanes to start dropping from the sky as we rang in the Y2K apocalypse. The year 2000 started with an epic disappointment, as the tin foil hat crowd were left twiddling their thumbs when the clocks struck midnight and we were not thrown into a new stone age where our technological addiction was turned against us.

Thankfully, the past decade has been as rife with death, war, and destruction as any to keep us on our toes. Few could argue against the fact that the events of Sept. 11, 2001 have largely defined the geopolitical course of international politics. As I write this article another five Canadian bodies are on their way home from Afghanistan, a poignant end point to a period largely defined by our country’s public shift towards a militarizing culture. As the next generation of youth moving towards adulthood, it will be our job to define the next decade, but how?

In federal elections between 2000 and 2010 voter apathy reached a new high in Canada. In 2008 turnout reached a low point of almost 60 per cent. Political engagement is no longer a part of the youth experience in this country. The blame may lay with federal leadership, presenting us with a slough of out of touch, aging white men, each one more deluded by power than the last. Or perhaps it is the sense of disenchantment that one feels to their own role in what seems to a be a rigged game.
The Canadian parliament has been prorogued again in an unprecedented move by Stephen Harper, handicapping our nation in a time when the need for Canada to be a global leader is greater than ever. This year will see the Olympics, G8, and G20 summits on Canadian soil, yet our leaders have seen fit to take a two month vacation, effectively killing the Afghan detainee commission, once again preventing the Climate Change Accountability Act from reaching a vote, and allowing the Conservatives, in a gross abuse of power, to set the terms of the next election with their March budget.
While there are many symptoms that have lead to youth apathy, what we really need is a cure.

At moments in history youth have stood at the forefront of the progressive movement, driving political and social change. In Munich during the Second World War, it was a group of concerned students who took a stand against the Nazi regime as the nation’s self proclaimed “guilty conscience,” founding the resistance group The White Rose. In Chicago in 1968 young people were making headlines, fighting for civil rights against the Vietnam War, and pushing for social justice.
The Chinese Zodiac enters the Year of the Metal Tiger in 2010, the metal tiger being a symbol of unyielding, rigidity, persistence, strength, and determination. It is in this manner than youth of this planet must step forward, to tackle the greatest challenges of this our generation. Whether one is talking about the climate crisis, economic instability, to the expanding global war on poor people with brown skin, the time has come to step off the bench and get into the game. It is our turn to become the leaders that our politicians have failed to be.

Leave a Comment

It is hard to imagine that just ten years ago humanity was collectively cowering in basements stocked to the ceiling with canned goods, waiting for airplanes to start dropping from the sky as we rang in the Y2K apocalypse. The year 2000 started with an epic disappointment, as the tin foil hat crowd were left twiddling their thumbs when the clocks struck midnight and we were not thrown into a new stone age where our technological addiction was turned against us.

Thankfully, the past decade has been as rife with death, war, and destruction as any to keep us on our toes. Few could argue against the fact that the events of Sept. 11, 2001 have largely defined the geopolitical course of international politics. As I write this article another five Canadian bodies are on their way home from Afghanistan, a poignant end point to a period largely defined by our country’s public shift towards a militarizing culture. As the next generation of youth moving towards adulthood, it will be our job to define the next decade, but how?

In federal elections between 2000 and 2010 voter apathy reached a new high in Canada. In 2008 turnout reached a low point of almost 60 per cent. Political engagement is no longer a part of the youth experience in this country. The blame may lay with federal leadership, presenting us with a slough of out of touch, aging white men, each one more deluded by power than the last. Or perhaps it is the sense of disenchantment that one feels to their own role in what seems to a be a rigged game.
The Canadian parliament has been prorogued again in an unprecedented move by Stephen Harper, handicapping our nation in a time when the need for Canada to be a global leader is greater than ever. This year will see the Olympics, G8, and G20 summits on Canadian soil, yet our leaders have seen fit to take a two month vacation, effectively killing the Afghan detainee commission, once again preventing the Climate Change Accountability Act from reaching a vote, and allowing the Conservatives, in a gross abuse of power, to set the terms of the next election with their March budget.
While there are many symptoms that have lead to youth apathy, what we really need is a cure.

At moments in history youth have stood at the forefront of the progressive movement, driving political and social change. In Munich during the Second World War, it was a group of concerned students who took a stand against the Nazi regime as the nation’s self proclaimed “guilty conscience,” founding the resistance group The White Rose. In Chicago in 1968 young people were making headlines, fighting for civil rights against the Vietnam War, and pushing for social justice.
The Chinese Zodiac enters the Year of the Metal Tiger in 2010, the metal tiger being a symbol of unyielding, rigidity, persistence, strength, and determination. It is in this manner than youth of this planet must step forward, to tackle the greatest challenges of this our generation. Whether one is talking about the climate crisis, economic instability, to the expanding global war on poor people with brown skin, the time has come to step off the bench and get into the game. It is our turn to become the leaders that our politicians have failed to be.

Leave a Comment