Getting Young People Interested

Fri, Jun 5 2009 02:53pm BST 1
Stephanie Kluth
Stephanie Kluth
4 Posts
I am 19 and out of all my friends and people under 25 at work I was the only one who voted. Doesnt this disgust you!

How are the Jury Team going to help get young people interested in politics?
Fri, Jun 5 2009 03:12pm BST 2
Heather Kavanagh
Heather Kavanagh
6 Posts
With all that's been going on around the Westminster village - middle-aged people arguing about expenses for the most part - I'm not that surprised that many younger voters are feeling exercising their right to vote is low on their list of priorities.

The question is then how to get them interested again. I'm not sure I know the answer to that.


Fri, Jun 5 2009 03:17pm BST 3
Stephanie Kluth
Stephanie Kluth
4 Posts
Hi Heather

Most did not even know about the expenses issuse, that is what I think is shocking the most. As soon as someone starts talking about politics they switich off. Is it because they dont need to care about politics as there is nothing that they truely feel strong enough in. Or is it because politics has lost touch with the younger generation and their views do not match.
Fri, Jun 5 2009 03:29pm BST 4
Heather Kavanagh
Heather Kavanagh
6 Posts
Speaking from being well on my way to 50, I can't really answer the question! Laughing

Perhaps, when you've been through school, college and on to uni, you're a bit preoccupied with finding your feet in the "real world". To many people, perhaps politics doesn't really affect their daily lives (let's not start about eroded personal freedoms, smoking bans, and increasing taxes...) so they don't take an interest in it.

There's a saying that we get the governments we deserve. When so few people turn out to vote, we get the stagnation at the top, so disinterest just seems to increase.

I'm keen to find out what others think we can do to encourage younger voters to have some interest in the system.
Fri, Jun 5 2009 05:51pm BST 5
Lucy O'Sullivan McCormick
Lucy O'Sullivan McCormick
7 Posts
Since I took up with the Jury Team, my three children (!) aged 23,22 and 19 have all shown much more interest in politics..they even started a facebook page for me, their mum, which has well over 100 members...and my younger son has opted for an International politics option in his Economics degree..which he wouldn't have done before he says. So maybe my message is that if older people get passionate about politics again, the 'youth' will follow and maybe the media could also take note and start a Question Time for Youth..produced and directed by the under 25's? But the other feeling I have is that Youth in Britain get a really hard time...that horrible word 'feral' springs to mind...from my primary campaigning and indeed from my campaigning over this last week, British Youth are brilliant...but they need to be listened to and talked to and not talked down to....direct democracy rocks. What say you Stephanie and others?
Sat, Jun 6 2009 03:03pm BST 6
John Matchett
John Matchett
9 Posts
I had many a lively discussion about politics when I was a teenager. The thing to remember is that hardly anyone changes their mind after a left/right yes/no good/bad argument. All that tends to happen is that the debaters come away with their original viewpoint reinforced and maybe they hone their debating skills.

The easiest way to get people involved is to ask their opinion. Who should decide what MPs get paid, the MPs themselves or an independant body? How does the independant body get chosen? Non voters often have opinions on such questions. The more you can get them thinking about how government should be run, the better the chance of them realising that hey, it's their government too and that government is supposed to work for them, not the other way round.
Sat, Jun 6 2009 07:52pm BST 7
Steve Lawrence
Steve Lawrence
12 Posts
We need to find ways to include our young in the politial process. They need to feel valued and not automatically labeled negatively and tanished by the same brush as the minority of rebellious young people who seem intent on causing mayhem on our streets.
We need to make sure we offer them more in the way of education and the prospect of a better life and career.
We need to find funding to offer them more after school activities, Youth centres, free access to sports facilities etc, to relieve their bordom and gathering in huge gangs on street corners.

Young people are the future of this country and they should have and be encouraged to have a greater say in how this country is run.

Most importantly we must not allow our young people to feel disenchanted with a system that in their eyes does not seem to consider them enough.

Steve Diffin
Fri, Aug 14 2009 01:58am BST 8
Dan Kooper
Dan Kooper
2 Posts
Its wierd - its like this in America as well.

I don't think it has anything to do lack of interest - rather a lack of faith in the system. I think the older the person is, the more brainwashed they are into thinking that voting actually does something.

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