Saturday, April 7, 2007

Youth On Young Voter Apathy

Too often today the political and media commentators harp on how little young people know or care about topics and issues that relate to the upcoming elections and the prospective candidates. Obviously those experts haven't read this: SG mirrors U.S. politics (flagged for language).

This was a student opinion column in Thursday's Independent Collegian at the University of Toledo. In his column the author draws a corollary between his peers' attitudes toward the recent student government elections and their similar level of disinterest in national elections.

He notes the lack of personal research and informed decisionmaking behind the vote on campus and a parallel drift in general voter tendency. But he goes on to speculate that the current trend toward designer candidates and party-centric agendas, that are constructed to avoid offense and essentially stand for nothing, hold some of the responsibility for this merger with mediocrity.

He further points out that even the individual who attempts to do indepth research on a candidate's focus, standpoint and platform is running against a tidal surge of party solidarity and public relations machinery. One should expect a political party to rally behind its candidate but the author suggests that, instead of the party offering loyalty to the candidate's campaign, the candidate is retooled to eradicate all traces of his or her personality in order to assimilate the traits of the collective...er, party.

Now he may be guilty of a tad bit of oversimplification of the relationship between the candidate, the party and the campaign platform; but it is a fairly accurate assessment that after the primary the name tag is often the only thing recognizable about the chosen candidate. All of the characteristics which contributed to the elector base's support are either ironed out or stuffed into the premade suit which is laced shut.

So, if you are feeling brave you can go over and read it.

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