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The Forum > Article Comments > Looking for Gen Y politics in all the wrong places > Comments

Looking for Gen Y politics in all the wrong places : Comments

By Kate Crawford, published 18/10/2006

Gen Y's engagement with political issues may not match traditional formulas, but that doesn’t mean they aren't interested.

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There might be no generation that is more educated and more switched on the Generation Y, but neither have we seen one so cynical, so mature.

The greens are a growing force but what is their real potential…really? Does anyone see them as a major force in the future? The democrats are exit-ramping themselves out of relevancy and the Labour party seems to retain just over 40% approval, both in polls and at the booth while they do almost everything wrong. This is autopilot politics and Gen Y is complicit. They are no longer of the age where they can say they are excluded so therefore part of the future solution, not the current problem.

The last spark of political imagination was Tony Blair claiming Africa and the Environment could be fixed if we actually tried. This was a generational chasm that opened up in British politics, with a concerted PR campaign being fought on what many would see as pet topics of the young and radical, those not yet infected with realism.

The next frame in that particular film was poor old Tony being crucified, and then the realisation that those who care most about third world debt and the environment are uber-successful baby boomers who are looking for another booster rocket to help them escape the gravitational pull of lame duck politics or musical irrelevancy.

Gen Y is not the apathetic couch potato it’s made out to be, but neither is it a utopian generation that believes betterment means anything different from what we already have.

Gen Y is better educated and that education has excelled in delineating exactly what Generation Y’s interests are. We are looking at a generation that wouldn’t exactly disagree, that haven’t disagreed, with Fruit Co tactics if their iPods and Sass & Bide Jeans were at stake.

This generation embraces war as long as its just, wedge politics as long as its clever, capitalism as long as they are the beneficiaries, they have “I” at the centre of the universe, the logical extension of Erasmus’ logic, but not of his intention.
Posted by only-a-notion, Wednesday, 18 October 2006 9:50:34 PM
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I think in general Generation Y, and In fact Generation X are 'results driven'. They'll work more if they're paid more. They'll quit high scholl in year 10 if a mining company wants to throw money at them. Politically, I think this 'results driven' attitude is what motivates and influences these generations. I'd also go so far as to say that the 18-35 age bracket is as much a driving force behind John Howard as the 55+ bracket.

While not all young people agree with Howard's right wing policies, they know what they're getting, they like what they're getting and they're happy. Ideology and moral high ground isnt that important to the generation y's and x's. The left can proliferate its scare tactics about AWB, Iraq and the economy all it wants, but young people dont care about the 'what ifs' as long as they have an ipod!
Posted by wre, Thursday, 19 October 2006 7:24:21 AM
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Lack of interest in activley participating in the democratic process was alive and well back in my generation x. None of us ever voted because all politicians from left to right were(expletetive). We never gave thought to the fact that if we opted out of the decision making process, those same expletetives would gladly make political, social and economic decisions for us. Never considered that "the lesser of two evils" might be the way of the world.

Generation Y seem to be by and large, politically illiterate. And perhaps, not having grown up without the existance of the information super highway, do not fully appreciate it's shortcomings.
A million people giving their two cents worth online is barely worth two cents if not backed up by real action. A thousand angry protesters are hard to ignore, but a million angry emails can be deleted at the touch of a button.

I recently spoke to a generation Yer who was bitterly angry. He had donkey voted for a political party(he didn't care who got in). That party then introduced laws that allowed his employer to cut two dollars an hour out of his wages. But he was happy that his new employer was willing to give him one of the newfangled AWA's to sign(he hadn't read the content).

While I admit to having been like them at one stage, perhaps they should be called "Generation Y bother"
Posted by Fozz, Thursday, 19 October 2006 10:01:08 PM
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