Marginalised youth look to alternatives outside the vote to make their voices heard
Just 20% of those eligible to vote for the first time bothered to register for upcoming elections
Traditional politics and representative democracy seem to be failing to engage young people. If the youth aren't participating, the argument goes, it's because they don’t care and they are apathetic. There is a growing body of evidence demonstrating that around the world, the youth are increasingly alienated from electoral processes – this despite being aware that young people have been instrumental in advancing social and political transformation.
The issue here is not apathy but rather a lack of representation. The large number of young activists and young professionals running community programmes illustrates that young people are simply engaging in politics in other, more participative ways. Young people want change but no one is listening. The result is often ‘protest voting’ where voters punish the political parties they perceive have failed them...