Our Readers' Opinions
September 15, 2015
Politics needs to be more appealing to young people

Dear Editor: Why should you use your vote wisely? Because decisions you make will be enacted in the political space, will impact on your future in some way, shape or form, whether you like it or not. The next government will be here for at least five years, and long after that, we will still be dealing with the consequences of the decisions they have made — which is why it is better to get involved now rather than complain later.{{more}}

This election is largely about our young people’s future. The country has invested heavily on the education revolution, clearly targeting our young people and Vincentians on a whole. It is bearing early fruits. Our youths will be turned off by politicians and political parties, partly because they don’t understand their connection to their reality, and partly because they don’t feel they are being offered a realistic chance to change their lives. Young people are fed up of the old khaki pants politics, derogative language and largely, the old boys’ network within politics, which alienates them. Young people want to be able to identify with their political role models, so the social background that politicians tend to come from must be reflective of society at large. Our politicians need to assist our youths to make the connection between politics and their actual lives. They need to see some semblance of integrity in politicians, not the type of mud–slinging and gutter politics currently being paraded on some political platforms. Politics needs to be more inviting, rather than unappealing. I was flabbergasted by several recent remarks in the public domain by some politicians who are elected representatives of the people. I would want to believe that whether or not I belong to a constituency, I am a Vincentian and should be respected by politicians who in general represent not only his/her constituency, but the entire people of the country. Our youths know just how much they can influence and change things. So, they are fully aware that their votes can make a difference. Sad that some politicians have the so-called god-complex syndrome that they have yet to see society as a bigger picture rather than themselves.

I will urge interested politicians to get the attention of young people; politicians need to build genuine relationships with them. So far, except for the ULP, the NDP is yet to tell Vincentian youths what is their forward plan for the youths and the country as a whole. They have criticized almost every developmental project, and even those with potential to be a game-changer for the country. I doubt that at this ninth hour any poli-tricks with the sole intention of deceiving the electorate’s youths will benefit the NDP.

To the youths, if you aren’t planning on voting, I would advise you to be aware of the consequences of your inactivity and refusal to participate in the system. Be informed about why you should vote and be mindful about what will happen if you don’t – not just on a personal level, but for those around you and for society as a whole.

Vincentians, we need to get past the idea of politics being a serious, off-putting thing. It affects everyone’s lives. Vote for your future and the continuing development of St Vincent and the Grenadines.