Our take: Crafting a knowlegeable voter takes time

Election 2014: Education can speed the process, but youths usually only learn with age

Our most recent web poll asked a very simple question: “Were you an informed voter at age 20?”

About two-thirds of the readers who participated responded ‘no.’

We bring this up with the knowledge that only about one-third of you voted in the 2011 civic election and people have pointed to the lack of young people voting as a contributing factor.

It’s very easy to wag a finger at young people about it being their responsibility to vote. It’s harder to delve into the reasons why, and more difficult still to initiate change.

Talking to young people who don’t vote, two responses are heard repeatedly: “I don’t know enough about the issues” and “my vote doesn’t matter.”

The answers are obvious: “then learn” and “if you want a better community, it’s the only thing that does.”

But while the statements are hard to argue with, they aren’t going to resonate with young people until their life experience drives home those lessons.

Voting is about acting as an independent member of your community. You have to remember most 18- to 20-year-olds are neophytes in that role, many are still shaking off the confines they grew up in. The significance of the greater community outside of their friends and family is something that is only beginning to be realized.

Learning the importance of voting is something that only comes with time and experience.

Schools and families can speed the process by introducing the concept of politics to kids at an earlier age — talk about the issues more and show real-life examples of change.

And they should. But don’t expect educated, engaged voters to happen overnight. They never have before.

Just Posted

Boys and their toys gearing up for Cruise-In

The story behind some of the cool cars coming to annual Aldergrove car show and fundraiser

VIDEO: Burnouts in the Sky returns in honour of Bradley McPherson

Annual car show returns for first time since McPherson’s killer was convicted

VIDEO: RibFest kicks off in Langley

Free event features barbecue ribs, chicken, pork and brisket from Canada’s top rib artists

Langley woman’s graduation marks expansion of PTSD service dog program

Delta-based B.C. and Alberta Guide Dogs Society and Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs merging to service to more veterans

For a 20th year, golfers memorialize Surrey business owner killed by cancer

Annual tourney pays tribute to Howie Blessin, who wasn’t an avid golfer but employed people who are

First responders, police march in funeral procession for Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

These are the highest-paid actresses of 2018

In its list released this week Forbes said all 10 earned a total of $186 million before tax

VIDEO: World of Magic coming to Vancouver

Seven magic shows will appear at the Vancouver Playhouse from September 7 to 9

Most Read