Sunday, March 13, 2011

Young Canadians, our democracy needs you

I have an incredible father, one who has passed on many valuable lessons.  One of those lessons is that people like to be needed, that people like helping other people.  In work related situations when I've been in management positions, he often told me the most simple way to inspire people to roll up their sleeves is to ask a simple question:  "Can you help me out with this"?

Why do people like helping out?  Not for any altruistic reasons, but because of what it gives them.  Lending a hand, assisting others, it fills a person with a sense of pride and makes them feel wanted and needed.

Well, our democracy desperately needs a major injection of youthful optimism and energy.  Canada needs its young people to get involved. 

Young people typically have a sense of fairness and equity that older generations too often forget.  And in the coming campaign with all its smears and mud slinging, our democracy could do with the involvement of as many energetic and idealistic individuals as possible. 

And the old farts, its time they started making room for some fresh blood.  Being a passenger gets pretty old after a while, eventually its time to let junior slip behind the wheel and take control of the car.  Grandma and Grampa don't have to get out and walk, their input is still valuable, but trips to the clinic and pharmacy aren't the only things on the agenda.
When Jack Layton announced his candidacy for the leadership of the NDP he had a big party downtown with the Bare Naked Ladies providing a concert.  He walked through the crowd before taking the stage and I was able to shake his hand briefly.  I tried to give him some simple advice, toss the jacket and lose the tie before addressing the university aged crowed.  He didn't listen.  

Don't just ask for the votes of younger Canadians guys, get them involved in the entire process.  Youth knows how to speak to youth.  Talk to newer voters in the language of the old and grey haired and they'll likely pass out. 

Don't believe me?

Props to WMTC for reminding me of this video.

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