Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Generation DIY on the 2011 Canadian Federal Election

After reading a Globe and Mail article, "How Parliament would look if only youth voted", I was saddened by the statement that only 37% of eligible voters 18 - 24 voted in the 2008 federal election.

Young people are supposed to be our idealists, who shame us out of our democratic complacency. But it seems that they are as cynical and disengaged as the rest of Canada.

Looking for insights, I turned to someone who is facing her first federal election: my 18-year-old niece Emma.

You may remember Emma as the high school grad who arranged, with her friends, to rent an OC Transpo bus as their "Limo" for Grad. Now off at U of T, she now regularly vlogs to keep in touch with her sister, Tess, and friends at home.

Election ads of the future: "I kind of want to fuck shit up..."
So when I asked Emma how to get her generation more engaged, I wasn't surprised to get a YouTube link. After all, her mom (my sister-in-law) is the owner of YOW Productions, and the writer, producer and director of the web series Sweet Tarts Take-Away.

Emma prefaced this with the explanation, "I didn't come up with a solution to your question about getting youth to vote, but I do try to explain why I AM voting."

Check it out:

Of course it's "random" and "awkward", that's the intent. If gotten used to the Gen-Y (or should I say, "Gen-DIY") style when they create their own media. I especially love the little Elizabeth May animation!

"Uh.... let's plant some trees..."
Although I have to admit I was taken aback hearing that dear, sweet girl swearing like a sailor. But I shouldn't have been surprised. A certain crass creativity runs in the family. :)

The National Post's Matt Gurney recently wrote an editorial called "Strong leaders don't hide from young voters".

So you tell 'em, Em!

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