A Curmudgeonly Call for Youth to Vote By Wyn Jones

Will the youth come out to vote in this election?

There are days when I want to pull a serious amount of my hair out if I had that much left. I am reminded of how ungreen I am and the guilt is getting to me. When disposing of stuff, I now have a range of multiple options. Which bin does it go in? Is it reusable, recyclable, garden waste, wet garbage, dry garbage or just plain, ordinary garbage? Blue bin, clear bag or the box for the orphans of the third world?

Then there’s the whole electronics thing. Multi media and the social networks. It was once called the electronic highway but it’s not called that any more for some reason. I seem to have mostly mastered my wretched email, but I still feel leery about Facebook and Twitter. And there is an app for just about everything. Even the TV has become a lot more than a simple switch on, switch off deal. Do I have Netflix or HBO or whatever…. and that’s not to mention Hi Def and Blu-ray.

And I can’t eat what I really want anymore. Everything I like is bad for my metabolism or my natural life balance. If the good Lord had required me to eat this much salad, He would have made me live in a field of lettuce.

Grumpy just isn’t acceptable anymore either. It used to be that people of the age that I now am were given a certain amount of leeway to be a bit grumpy from time to time. I am supposed to live in a constant state of evenly measured grace with dignity, a smile and a benign temper. 

But with all this belly aching, I still am one of the chosen.  Chosen in the sense that I have an active say in how my country is run and by whom. It is an extremely small say, miniscule you might say, but a say nonetheless. And this is because I am a voter. In the last general election of 2011 only 61.1% of the total population voted. But 75% of those of us over the age of sixty-five voted and the politicians are falling all over themselves to make sure we are well taken care of because we are damn important.

But we really shouldn’t be. We, as a generation, have basically had our turn at the helm and if the truth were said, we kind of screwed it up a bit. We were the “now”, the “me” generation and we had it all. We wanted different and we were ready to lead the world to a New Jerusalem, to ban the bomb, end all wars, and feed the starving millions. And all this on the cheap.  A university education was only a few hundred dollars a year and we could happily leave home, wander the world and live cheaply with a bunch of other cool dudes like us and celebrate the summers of love.

The current generation of under thirty fives are having a genuinely difficult time. With the huge costs of just living, of living with the burden of never ending debt and with scant assistance from a government that seems to care little for the difficulties of those coping with low pay and long hours, in a job market that is saturated with part time work. But having said all that, one can only remind them…… the generation X…..  that if you don’t play you cannot  win. In the last election, just 35.8% of the under thirty-fives turned up at the polls. If the voter numbers for your age group were anything like that of my generation just think of the huge difference it would make. We would have a progressive, forward looking government with a much greater concern for the new people coming through who, in fact, are the ones who will be at the helm themselves within ten years.

So this is just a comment by a grumpy member of the chosen to all you younger people out there. Take the time to get out and vote when the day comes. And if you don’t agree with how things are in our country right now then help to throw the rascals out. To paraphrase that hoary old philosopher Descartes

I vote therefore I am

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