Oct 15

Reading Reflection Six: youth and elections

Some things you might use to reflect this week:

How do the roles of youth in Albania and Lok Sabha compare to those in the US? Given how many policies created today will have greater and longer-term impact on the youth, why do you think so few vote compared to older generations? What will you do to ensure that you and your friends vote in the next three weeks?

Remember, your posts are due by 1:30PM on Tuesday!


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  1. Christine Thrasher

    As shown by the articles about Albania and Lok Sabha, youth can be a driving and dynamic force in a country’s election process. Because of their capacity to think differently than older generations and their idealistic level of energy, they can get surprising things done. As pointed out by Erin Mazurksy in the Huffington Post, youth in the US pulled off an amazing feat when they helped to get Barack Obama elected. However, even though youth can be powerful in elections, many of them don’t vote today, due to a general mistrust and disinterest in the political process, and a lack of desire to organize. Personally, I feel that voting is incredibly important, because even if the candidates aren’t ideal, they are the ones that will get into office anyways, so we might as well help choose the ones that will do the best job. I have ensured that I will vote in the next three weeks by registering to vote and finding out where I will have to go to vote. I’ve also looked over the candidates and propositions to decide what I will be voting. I encourage my friends to do the same, because I know that their votes count for a lot.

    1. Brenda Ramirez

      Hi Christine.
      I am so happy that you are taking the time to learn about the candidates’ backgrounds and the propositions. I think that says a lot about a person. It’s also cool that you are urging your friends to do the same. I wish more people took the time to learn about who is introducing the propositions and how they will affect us.

  2. Brenda Ramirez

    I’ve heard multiple theories of why youth don’t vote like older generations due. I think that the youth in this country aren’t as interested in government or politics because the U.S. educational system does not emphasize much on politics. I remember taking one course in government throughout high school. The course curriculum may have changed now, but I remember not really caring because it was quickly introduced to me and I wasn’t able nor was it really imperative for the teachers to teach us about the connections of government and social, economic, and other issues.
    I do know that in other countries, it is a requirement for children to learn 2-4 other languages. Learning other languages already introduces children to international issues and, therefore, provokes their curiosity for other international governments and economic models. Because they are more internationally informed, they will be more inclined to analyze their own government model. This is just my theory, but I think this may help to explain why the youth don’t appear to be as engaged as other international youth populations.

    As for voting, I take the time to research who drafted the propositions and candidates. It takes time, but then I can tell my friends and family about the proposition or candidate they think they will vote for.

    1. Patricia Chiu

      I think that you make great points, especially about the importance of learning foreign languages. In learning another language, it is inevitable that you should learn about the history of the country too. (politically and culturally). When I learned Latin in high school, not only did I learn about the Lingua Latina but I also learned about the Magistrates, the Assembly of the Curiae, and the Roman Empire.

    2. Karina Venegas

      I also think that a reason why youth in the US doesn’t vote is because lack of interest which I also believe comes from the lack of politics/government in the education system. Through out school I also only had one government class and like for most students it wasn’t enough to spark an interest in it. I think that in order to expect the youth to vote they have to educate them about politics since they are in school. One of the articles mentioned how 50% of youth does not attend college and that college students are more likely to vote than non college youth; therefore, I think that it makes it even more imperative for schools to teach the youth about politics since many will not get more exposure to it like college kids do. That’s not to say that just because you’re exposed to politics means you will vote but it does mean there is possibly a better turnout.

  3. Amy Sage

    The youth in Albania and Loksabha are stepping up to the political plate, proving that they are a force to be reckoned with. I feel that their voter outcome at elections will probably be greater than those in the United States. We are still lacking the votes of the younger generation at voter polls which is a shame. As the youth of this country, we really have an opportunity to offer this country a fresh perspective of change. Though older voters and politicians have more wisdom, it is the youth of today that know most of recent problems in society. There should be more drive in our generation to make the future a better place for ourselves, as well as our future families. I’m sure changes like this might be easier when the population of your country is on average 28 years old like Albania, but you always have to start somewhere.

    Policies passed recently will have greater impact on the youth, yet we do not turn up at the voter booths. This needs to be changed. Older generations come from a time when several of them were not allowed to vote because of their gender and/or ethnicity. They lived in an era when people fought for the right to vote; to have an impact in a country that had yet to recognize them. I think today’s youth have forgotten about the struggles of the past. We grew up knowing that we’d have the right to vote one day, but somewhere along the way we forgot that our right to vote has stemmed from our grandparents or parents fighting for it. The youth of this country have forgotten the strife of that those before us have gone through just to be able to vote, so we do not show up. We do not have the same emotional attachment as the older generations, because we’ve always had the right to vote, but this was not always a fact for the older generations.

    I will see that my friends vote because we NEED to and our futures depend on it.

  4. Dillon Gamboa

    Getting anyone out to vote is probably one of the most difficult tasks, but trying to get a students to register to vote is even harder. I do agree with the articles that the youth is a power that must be utilized by politicians, but to be honest students are lazy.

    Students usually don’t want to vote because they are lazy, don’t want to take the time to fill out a 2 minute form, don’t know where the voting booths are, and not even sure when election days are. These are probably seen as trivial reasons to not vote by the older generation, but student these days don’t keep up with current events. The most we do is party and that is all we are concerned about.

    The ways I stay informed if by working with ASUCIs Executive Vice President’s department because we deal more with local government and state government. We do voter reg drives with the freshman housing and go to all the other student housing. We also try to educate people on different props/candidates. Most importantly we try to show people how simple it is to register or even register to vote. We also have to stress the importance that even though you registered you need register if you move address even if it is only 5 mins away.

  5. George Goodman

    I think that the reason young people don’t vote revolves around the reason why youth don’t get engaged in their communities. This could possibly come from a lack of patriotism and appreciation for the freedoms and opportunities this country offers us. Growing up in Southern California, I felt a lack of American pride, which I think gives youth a message that there is no significance to voting. Maybe a movement of American unity would help youth understand their potential large role in our system. Because Albania is a smaller country I think that youth feel a greater attraction to their nationality, which in turn gets them to participate or vote. Many of us youth in America are spoiled and don’t understand the blessings of democracy, but most Albanians do because of the fresh memories of communism. A good number of American youth are experts in taking freedoms and rights this country offers them for granted every day.

    On another note, I have already encouraged many of my friends to vote, but they don’t seem to care unfortunately. If I’ve learned anything in life, it’s that you can only control your decisions and actions, so I dropped my vote by mail request in the mailbox a few hours ago in order to exercise my right to vote.

  6. Rachel Berman

    I may have a skewed sense of how our generation views politics, but from what I have seen of my peers there is a large amount of anti-American sentiment. Many of our parents lived and protested through the Vietnam war and now the war in Iraq and have felt betrayed by the government. I believe this has deeply influenced how we see the United States as a super power that needs to be reigned in a bit, yet we feel powerless to do so. I don’t think today’s youth has forgotten about the struggles, but a lot of them are cynical about what has happened what what is happening. I agree with Brenda that other countries are much more aware of their position with others in the world and make a point to learn the language and the culture. The United States can feel very insular on the inside while the government makes the issues of many other countries its business. This disparity creates a sense that information can only move outward and not inward. I am not sure what these thoughts have to do with voting, but I do think this attitude affects youths. We are not encouraged to feel like we can make a difference with our vote. Perhaps it does need to start much earlier and emphasized in schools as a civic duty and a privilege of democracy.

  7. Patricia Chiu

    The youth of Albania and Lok Sabha probably differ from the youth of the US in that they were probably taught strong family values and the importance of culture and tradition, whereas US parents and educators teach and place emphasis on the importance of changing the future. Though US parents probably do teach their children about culture and tradition too, there is less of an emphasis on them. As cliched as this may sound, in my bio and chem classes, I get a feeling that my professors believe that we can make a difference in this world by following our dreams of becoming doctors, chemists, biologists, researchers, and so on. For example, when there is a new discovery in the field, my professors will tell us how monumental of a change it is and will describe to us that many more discoveries will be made as we grow older, and that the information taught now will be seen as archaic. They stress that no information is set in stone and that change is possible. I get this feeling too from Gilllian, that we can exact change as tomorrow’s leaders.

    Because the youth of Albania and Lok Sabha are taught about the importance of following traditions, their role in their perspective countries is to uphold that tradition. Thus, this makes some of the youth hesitant on changing the status quo. Meanwhile, the youth of the US have been encouraged by most of the parents, guardians, and educators that they can change the future if they are proactive. This leads some of the American youth to become active participants in changing the political status quo.

  8. Jennifer Madamba

    After reading the articles, it seems like the youth in Albania and Lok Sabha are really encouraged to vote through positive incentives. Their government is giving youth rewards. Here in the United States, I don’t think voting is highly encouraged all the time. For the 2008 elections, MTV had the motto, “Rock the Vote” to encourage young adults. Even walking around campus, I see students passing out flyers and having rallies to sponsor candidates. But I don’t think it’s working effectively.

    Compared to older generations, the youth aren’t voting as much because we lack knowledge about politics. I think that students aren’t really too exposed to politics. Some youth don’t have the time or the resources to keep up with what’s happening in politics. Like for me, I don’t really watch television or read newspapers. To get my news, I read Yahoo articles when I go on the homepage to sign on to read my e-mail. Another reason why I don’t keep up is because I don’t feel like it’s made a huge impact on my life to know the differences. I think that education should promote politics more since that’s where most young adults are in their lives- in school.

    To ensure that my friends and I vote in the next three weeks, I will try my best to expose myself to the political issues. I will try to keep up with the news and learn more about the candidates. I think it would be really effective if we were offered an incentive just like Albania and Lok Sabha. I think more youth would be more encouraged to vote.

  9. Noelia

    The youth of Albania and Lok Sabha are different than the youth in the US because Albania has been a product of Communism and later a corrupt democracy, and Lok Sabha has their caste system. How to unify a generation of young people that has been let down and purposefully segregated?
    Voter turn out is less now than in older generations I think, because we are a culture that thrives on individualism. We are so caught up on our own needs and goals that we forget that there is a “we.” Maybe we don’t care, or are too busy? I think that when we elected President Obama we were reminded that there is a “we.”

    I have already done my duty and voted by mail. I will encourage my friends to get out there and vote!

  10. Andre Navarro

    To be completely honest, I am not as knowledgeable in these upcoming new policies as I know I should be; But, I can guess their impact on the youth is just as great as it once was in the older generations. I do feel the older generation may have more reason’s to vote and stand up for their opinions. In the times of segregation, votes and voting was viewed as a privilege rather than a right. Now I think voting has not lost its importance, just the way people look at voting. For some it’s just another chore that they are obligated to do. And with today’s youth they already have so much on their plates and the question, “who’s going to notice just one vote?” is a probably a reoccurring question that today’s youth ask all too often. I think voting is very important; however, I do not encourage someone to vote who does not have sufficient knowledge on what they are voting for. I think someone suggested something about having our educations system requiring a class on voting; I feel like that is probably going to be the best way to get today’s youth to vote

  11. Leslie Mendoza

    I think, that there are different factors that have contributed to a decrease in voting. Maybe, it’s the fact that the youth generation hadn’t seen the hardships that people of the older generations went through in order to be given the right to vote. It’s been taken for granted and it’s just “there.” We go along our daily actions and do things that are convenient to us now.

    We won’t vote unless if it’s something that’s directly affecting us in the moment or until we become aware of it. Kinda like the increase in tuition and having students protest that our resources are unfairly being given to prison inmates. And though I don’t disagree, it makes me wonder about whether or not those individuals who are protesting now voted or mentioned something when it was happening at its earlier stage when the senators first proposed to give money to prisons.

    The youth in Albania recognize the error in the government and seek to create change because they want they are directly impacted by it. While the government of Lok Sabha want to bribe the young voters into their candidacy.

    Unfortunately, this voting thing might just be a fad as well. A great thing, but nevertheless a fad that’s marketing action of change created by groups who want to endorse their side. Whatever side the voter then believe themselves to sympathize with, they’ll willingly waltz and vote for them. For this reason, I think the best way is not necessary to have a class on how to vote (because the teacher might be biased and then it won’t necessarily be the student’s opinion but a reflection of the teacher’s) but rather, market to them the idea that it’s a good thing to be informed about what’s going on around them. Especially when their children (but not drill to them because they might grow to dislike it). Last year, I didn’t just “tell” my friend’s to go vote. I talked to them about some of the issues that were happening.

    Because like Andre said, I don’t think it’s a good idea to vote for something that one isn’t fully informed in.

  12. Natalie Chau

    In the article written by Erin Mazurksy, he stated that Barack Obama was able to win the election due to the force of the youth and their votes. The youth gathered together and believed that they could make a difference in the polls. And by voting, they were able to impact the future. In Albania and Lok Sabha, many of the youths are not voting because they do not have a positive perspective of the government. Either they experienced communism themselves or through their parents. Transitioning from a communist government to a democracy, the youth no longer has faith in the government. They have a bad view of the government.

    Even though many policies created today have a greater impact on the youth, so few are voting compared to the older generations. I believe this is so because many youth today are caring less about the government and they just see the government as corrupt. I think many believe that politicians are liars who cannot be trusted. Many of the youth just don’t care what goes on in the government.

    I have already registered to vote and I will also ensure my friends to vote in the next few weeks by informing them how very important voting is. I think voting is important because the government and the policies are going to impact our lives. We can’t just ignore the policies and government and live our lives free of them, even if we wanted to. So we might as well vote for the policies that we like, because it will make a huge difference.

  13. Cindy Arias

    I think the article demonstrated the powerful and possible force of youth. By using Albania and Lok Sabha as prime examples, I was felt empowered and realized that although our situation here in the US is not to the point that other countries are, it is quickly approaching. We need to get the younger generation prepared and knowledgable on our political system in order to have a voice that represents the needs of the largest section of our population.Even though the youth of Albania have been exposed to harsher government environments, their progress in combatting the fears that have been brought on by communism have been improving steadily showing that the possibilities of american youth are endless. I have forwarded the huffington post article to several friends in hopes that they can see how realistic the voting process can be and how we are a democratic system that is made to represent the views and the needs of people.

  14. Jessica Yen

    Albania and Lok Sabha share the same vision as the United States, in the sense that they believe their youth can alter the current democracy. The author states that he has witnessed the U.S. citizens paralyzed with fear when their government declared war, but he has also seen the bright side, which is when people come up with solutions to end the war. The author’s perspective is that if the United States can overcome so many obstacles and changes, then Albania and Lok Sabha can do it as well. I think very few college students vote nowadays because they feel like their opinions do not matter, or they are not in tune with today’s politics. I will ensure that my friends and I will vote in the next three weeks by reminding them weekly that elections are coming up and talk about the elections and their opinions of the propositions more frequently.

  15. Justyne Catacutan

    Change. A word that was brought up in the Obama campaign and theme. It is what has brought the youth of the United States together in order to start a youth movement in the future. When comparing young voters in Albania and Lok Sabha to the the voters in the United States, you see the potential of the voters trying to seek change as such in the United States. There is more freedom in the United States, meaning that young people have an essential spirit that they free willingly express their voice in such a drastic way. With the help of social media, local media, and professional media, the youth in the United States were influenced of the importance of vote. It is only time that slows the process for other people in other countries. I believe all youth have the same belief to make an improvement in society to better their future. To think about the amount of vote that don’t vote, it can be misinterpreted by youth that they have a say in the nation’s future. I feel that youth can be less motivated because they have not seen any change in society occur in their lifespan. Youth want things to happen in a immediate space. It is just not possible. Since I am not really sure how voting works, I plan to search how it works. I do believe that having more youth vote can make a difference.

  16. Diana Garcia

    I agree, American youth is spoiled and its unfortunate but many of us do take democracy for granted. There is the mentality that a vote won’t change anything but that could not be further from the truth because the more people think that way the less voters we have which hurts new candidates and favors incumbents.

    However, I hope the youth in Albania proves us wrong and steps up on election day. I was surprised to read in one of the articles that sixty percent of the voters are under forty years of age. This truly is their country and it is only right for them to make the decisions that will impact their future. I also hope that they take advantage of this opportunity because it is one that their parents did not have if they lived during the communist regime. The current politicians belong to an older generation and do not reflect the country’s population according to Mazursky. I am aware that we sometimes sit back due to fear of breaking tradition but politics affect everyone and by not participating one is only holding the country back.

    In these upcoming weeks I will continue to look up the propositions to make sure I know what I am voting on because I don’t want to go by all the misleading ads on television. I also made sure my parents know who the candidates are and remind them to vote because they are busy with work. As for my friends I’m trying to tell them to vote but they tell me they can’t since they registered back home but I know they can vote here in Irvine because I did last year.

  17. Nicole Fulbright

    Similarly to what some of my fellow classmates have been saying, it seems as though the youth in Albania and Lok Sabha have been a greater force in voting and elections. These are countries who are shifting from a corrupt, communist society to a democratic approach to government. This in itself is a huge leap, but the fact that the youth of these country’s are responsible in being such a driving force in turning around a bad environment, is incredible. However, I feel that such a thing also exists within the States; its just highly underrated. One example from personal experience that I can think of is a program that I was involved in during high school: YMCA’s California Youth and Government, which is a mock government made up totally by high schoolers. Being part of a group of about 3,000 teenagers who are passionate about politics was an amazing experience. So personally, I have a totally different perspective on how youth view elections in this country. I feel like we ARE involved and aware of issues. Although I wasn’t old enough to vote in elections, I still worked the voting polls and was incredibly interested in the candidates and issues at hand… College students all over the country are involved and passionate about politics and I love it. I think that we have a positive attitude towards voting in this country, especially with the younger generations. Though, I do hope that more and more people will actually vote!

    1. Kellie St. Pierre

      To go off your point Nicole, I do agree that there are youth and college students passionate about politics. These are the students interning in Washington D.C. every summer, or joining Young Democrats/Republicans at UCI or CALPRIG. However, I feel like politics is one of those subjects that you are either passionate about, or you are not, so the too many students left on campus who are not passionate about politics are those that pass by the voting registration tables with the common thought, “I don’t know much about the candidates, so I won’t vote.” Also, I feel that it is an “out of site, out of mind” sort of issue, that students/youth who are not constantly surrounded by the news/politics unintentionally let that information dissolve. How many students on campus subscribe to a newspaper? Many students tune into NPR and radio news stations alike, however, when they have time to fit it in. Alot of the older generation grew up reading the news every morning. They have a clear understanding of the actions taking place around them and they are loyal voters. Looking at our youth and realizing how many people continue to not take part in the voting process, I completely agree with Darcia, that so many of us take democracy for granted. It is truly unfortunate that people maintain the mindset that their vote will not count, or opposing opinions will cancel eachother out. It is necessary that we each take the time to register and submit our ballots. I will be encouraging my friends to register and vote and reminding them that making decisions feels good!

  18. Natasha Zubair

    It is evident that Albania, Lok Sabha, and the US all want their youth to participate when it comes times to vote. It seems though that youth voting is more effective in Albania and Lok Sabha compared to the US. Though the US encourages 18-25 year olds to vote, whether through various campaigns or college campuses, I think that some youth don’t take the initiative to be involved in the world around them. Most college students simply don’t know and don’t care about the elections because they feel that their vote is insignificant to the final outcome so they don’t vote.

    Just like the cake activity we did in the beginning of the quarter, I think that people get lazy or lose motivation for doing certain things when they have to make some effort. Since voters have to register, research about the candidates, and show up to the polling booth, maybe they lose the interest because it’s “too much unnecessary work” to them. I think it’s unfortunate because for 18 years, we weren’t given the opportunity of voting and then finally when we do get the chance, we don’t take advantage of it when really, one vote could make all the difference.

  19. Kevin J. Son

    Honestly, I’ve heard many different reasons and times where young people don’t vote like the older generations. I believe the reason why young people don’t vote is because the lack of knowledge they have about our government and being spoiled with things that corrupts the youths mind and the confusion they have on the type of activities that are occurring around the world. I also believe that the younger communities don’t possess the similar interest in politics as the older generations, which can be a factor in voting. This kind of reflects my past because growing up and going through high school I wasn’t too interested in learning history. All my history classes were mainly talking about governments and politics and I honestly didn’t care for them much. But I also realized I was foolish and immature still back then. Now, I have a different perspective on government, voting, and politics and the major turnaround for me was due to watching the news 24/7. In other countries I believe that the younger generations have a greater opportunity to focus on certain things in their country. They also receive a different form of education and culture, which might bring a form of passion towards government and politics. I believe getting educated and being born in a smaller country gives an advantage for the youth because they are able to acquire great amount of knowledge about their government and politics, which can lead to voting.
    Shockingly I have actually taken interest in our government and politics. For the voting coming up very soon I’m actually going to vote for my first time. With the knowledge I acquire and doing a little research on the two candidates I will influence my friends to vote for the right person.

  20. Dulshani BalasuriyaArachchi

    In Albania the youth seem to be paying attention to what the government is doing and are motivated to take action. On the other hand in Lok Sabha the political parties seem to be eager to attract the youth to show the country they are interested in candidates with fare and fresh ideas. In the US I think, youth who have personal interest in politics pay attention, take action and vote. But the majority is either unaware or too busy in their personal lives to pay attention to politics and what’s happening in the government. I think the majority of the youth in the US believes that they cannot do anything that directly impacts the government policies so why waste the time and energy on it. Also, the government policies do not directly or noticeably affect their day to day life so they choose to ignore politics. I think the youth has to be constantly reminded and shown the impact of government policies on them and the importance of voting so they will start taking action.

    1. Anthony La

      I agree with the notion that the youth in the US are not politically active as they should be. i sound like a hypocrite right now cause i personally am also not appealed by politics and thus just let my dad vote for me. I’m not making an excuse but i also agree with your argument that one vote may not mean as much because in any large election the chance of any one vote determining the outcome is low.
      Furthermore, some studies show that our voting system is constructed in a way that even lessens the value of one vote. That a single vote in the Electoral College system has an even lower chance of determining the outcome of an election. Regardless of the voting system used, it is a every ones RIGHT, DUTY and PRIVILEGE to vote. If your over 18 then you have the right to vote, you have a privilege that not everyone across the country has and a duty because our founding fathers fought so that we can have these rights.
      The article about the elections in Albania help shows what we take for granted, voting. The Albanian people have endured communism and so much corruption that, as the author puts it there path to democracy is like “a child growing up in a broken home of warring parents: The child is told that marriage works, but the child only sees marriage as pain and dysfunction”. We on the other hand embody democracy and its values and yet take for granted out right, duty and privilege to vote.

  21. Hyun Joo Lee

    Until recently, I was not a U.S Citizen with the privilege to vote, so this year would actually be the first time for me to even have the chance to get involved in voting and politics. I’m actually pretty excited to get involved because I really wanted to participate in the previous presidential election where Obama was elected, but I couldn’t then because I wasn’t yet a U.S Citizen. I haven’t yet looked over the candidates and propositions, but I have made a note to myself in my planner to do so, in order to have background knowledge before casting my votes. Since most college students and youth are pretty tech-savvy and are consistently checking facebook for updates and news, I suppose the best way to reach out to many of my friends to vote in the next three weeks would be to write a facebook status/message when it is closer to elections, encouraging those who can vote to vote.

    As many of my classmates have expressed in their reflections, I think that the younger generation vote much less compared to the older generation because they feel apathetic. It may possibly be because many of us rarely experience/feel the direct effect, whether positive or negative, based on who gets elected to office. Here in the U.S, most of us already enjoy a lot of freedom, unlike the experiences encountered by the youth of Albania and Lok Sabha. Furthermore, the political corruptions that exist in the U.S are on a completely different level from the corruption the people of Albania and Lok Sabha need to associate with. Therefore, I think that explains why the youth in the U.S did not vote as much before the amazing event of youth creating a difference to get Obama elected happened.

    I’ve always been hearing a lot on how youth voting can make a difference—so I don’t think it’s really a matter of the youth not knowing they can make the difference, but it is more so that they simply didn’t really care. I think the Obama campaign’s change message was strong too, but more so, I think the Obama campaign was different from other elections in that it was something different throughout all of U.S history. There has never been an African-American president prior to today’s President Obama, so I think it intrigued the youth to follow politics and news/media more than usual, and I think there were also more talk among friends on what’s going on in the politics, which probably really engaged the youth and encouraged them to vote and become part of the change and history. The article states that the more our borders open, the more borderless we become and enables us to connect with others around the world. I’m glad to see that the youth in Albania and Lok Sabha was able to see the youth of the U.S making Obama a reality and was able to envision a better future for their country by understanding that the fate of their country lies in the hands of their youth as well.

  22. Alejandro Barraza

    The role of youth in Lok Sabha elections was that of a voting population that all of the political parties were trying to grasp. The importance of the youth vote to these political parties is illustrated by the Bahujan Samaj Party’s leader Mayawati declaring that her party would give half of their tickets to youth. When I initially read this, I was dumbfounded because I thought she was writing her electoral death sentence. However, the rest of the article illustrates how the other political parties like Bharatiya Janta Party used young faces to attract young voter, or Yuvraj party’s leader Rahul Gandhi stating his trust in the youth vote to create a brighter future. What struck me as the main difference between these Lok Sabha elections and the elections in the US is that the Lok Sabha political parties are not just stating they value the youth vote, they are showing their faith through action. Mayawati declaration that half of her votes were to given to youth illustrate his trust of the youth.

    The roles of youth in Albania are very similar to the role of youth in an older US. “Today’s Elections in Albania and the Role of Youth” makes it clear that Albania is in the post-communism phase, and the author uses this fact to compare Albania to the past US’s post communism phase. For instance, in the US’s post communism phase many Americans did not vote because they viewed democracy as bag full of corrupt politicians that did care about their electorate or the youth. Similarly, the youth in Albania feel the same way, but unlike the US slow transition out of the post communism phase Albania is progressing faster. This progress is best illustrated by Mazurky reflection: “We empathize with the past yet are not constrained by it, allowing us to also embrace the potential of tomorrow.” I found this reflection amazing because all of us can us this kind of mindset to improve ourselves.

    The main reason why I feel that the youth today are voting as much as previous generations is because the busyness of our lives have isolated us from our community. In the past, communities were tight-nit and the youth felt an obligation to vote, and they wanted to improve community that. Today, youth are busy with school and work, and the only networks they have is on facebook. It would be fair to say that a lot of youth care more about their farm on facebook’s well being, in comparison to their community’s well being. I will ensure that my friends and I will vote in the next three weeks by simply reminding them both in person the importance of voting.

  23. Jennifer Lazaro

    From my personal experience, I will admit that when I was younger, I never voted. It wasn’t because I was lazy or anything like that. I just didn’t understand what was going on and what was I suppose to vote for. But when Obama ran for president, I saw a lot of organizations take an interest and focus on students. I think that’s what motivated me to become active and participate in the world of politics. In Albania, we can see the great impact that the youth has on politics, yet I feel that US lacks this because not that much effort is given to educating youth about what is going on with politics. When I was younger I remember watching the debates, but not only did I feel like they were long and boring, but I had no clue on what some of the questions asked referred to. When you just turn 18, voting might not be the first thing that comes to mind, yet I believe that with a little more time, and if the student continues with higher education, they will find an interest in voting. Voting is important, and I feel more effort needs to be given to youth in general. Overall I believe that the older generations have a higher voting outcome than youth due to their experience, but I’m sure that if we look back and compared the older generation’s voting outcome when they were younger, it might even come out the same and the youths of today.

    I’m sure that we might have a huge youth outcome in voting this upcoming election due to Prop 19. Prop 19 is just something that caught their attention, and because of this, I believe that many will come out to vote in order to legalize it.

  24. Symone Magsombol

    As pointed out in the articles of the roles of youth in Albania and Lok Sabha, I believe that the youth have a greater power than they realize on impact they can make when they vote and become more involved in politics. In those countries, the public really advocates the youth to vote because they emphasize how much of a difference they can make with their input of votes. They are the future generation that will see the changes in their government, and without them, older generations will continue to decide the changes made for them. However, I do feel that they are fewer youth voting in comparison to the older generation because many times youth seem uninterested in politics, or do not realize the impact they can with their participation. Unfortunately I was unable to vote during the presidential elections because I was not yet 18, however, even then I remember that the public around me really advocated and encouraged my fellow colleagues to vote if they were of legal age. I believe with education and awareness of voting, the youth will see the importance of voting and will engage more into the issue of politics. I admit that I am not very up to date with politics as of right now, however I wish that maybe the government could devise a simple outline of candidates and polices in a simple format for not only the younger generation, but for the general public so that this could also increase the participation of voting as well. Many times, people also do not vote because they are unsure all the details that each issue touches upon. I will ensure that I will try to participate voting within the next three weeks by becoming more aware in politics, or learning more about it alongside my friends.

  25. Brenson M Yu

    The articles make good points that the youth should be interested in elections because they are the leaders in solving issues the next generation. These youth will inherit the old generations problems. The youth of these countries will be the ones to bring up issues, and do something about them. In the US, there are groups that are concerned in how politics shape the issues and their future. However, in smaller countries like Albania, or provinces in India its hard to be compelling to get youth to vote, because there are other problems like poverty that detract youth to vote. Time, and energy spent, when there are local problems, takes away dedication to concentrate on elections for these foreign locations.
    To make sure my friends will vote in the next three weeks. I wont force to them to, but as always voting is a form of representation. I would remind them elections for youth determine who we elect to power, and it makes us aware of what issues go around in the political forum, that effect us young citizens in what we like or don’t like. If we all had the attitude to digress on issues, and be more engaged in elections. We as a youth cluster in our generation will become experts, and perhaps we can learn from mistakes from the old generation, and apply them in the years upcoming

  26. Omeid Heidari

    A poorly informed electorate combined with distrust in the government culminating in apathy is why the youth do not care or show much interest in the democratic process. To properly entice young voters to come out to the poles, issues that best identify with that age group need to part of the candidates platforms. The 2008 presidential election showed how Obama captured the youth vote with his charisma and ability to identify with younger voters. Young voters will not turn out to the poles unless the issues directly effect them. Even if certain political platforms will have a long term effect on their lives, it is hard for the young voter to see or be properly informed of this.
    Pessimism aside, however, there has been a surge of political participation across college campuses. The Referendum and Proposition ballot issues occasionally have a least one or two ‘hot topic’ issues that attract the youth vote. The rising tuition increase at all public universities also has made it a main campaign platform topic from the gubernatorial candidates. Finally, a sense of peer pressure would be effective in increasing voter turnout. If the youth held their peers accountable to vote, the process would see an increase in voters from the youngest constituency.

  27. Nirav Bhardwaj

    We need to take into consideration that Albania is a much smaller country where it is easier for the youth to see the impact which they have upon the country by voting. Also they are not as established as the United States which also plays a large factor in the young people not voting in our country. I think a big issue is that our political system is completely flawed. It is a two-party system which gives no legitimate chance to a third-party candidate.

    People be get excited about how the youth helped elect Obama to the White House…. ok…. but in reality Obama is no different than the man we had in their for the previous eight years. They can make all the promises they want but at the end of the day the Democrats and Republicans are the same.

    I think one of the most interesting candidates has been Ron Paul. Ron Paul by far has the most dedicated following out of any candidate we have seen in the past years. But his push isn’t about the youth, it is about logical and sane people who want to see a real change in policies in the White House.

    This brings me to my point that we shouldn’t focus on merely getting the youth to vote. We take the wrong approach by heavily campaigning everyone to VOTE VOTE VOTE. When in reality we should focus on raising smarter individuals in society who will inherently understand the importance of voting. Personally I would rather have the knowledgeable 35% of the US population vote instead of having a 75% of the population vote and over have those being people who voted just for the hell of it.

    1. David Moghissi

      As far as your point on Albania goes, I think its also important to appreciate the geopolitical structure of that area. Albania may have a more politically-active younger population not because its small, but because for years that country was a party to countless wars and conflicts during the late 1980’s and 1990’s. The consequences of that history has probably pushed the Albanian youth to appeciate the high-stakes of their political processes.

  28. Elim Loi

    I think that youth today might not vote because they don’t really know what is going on or what is important related to our country and its policies. A reason for this could be lack of interest and knowledge of what is going on, because i know for myself i used to not care that much or i didn’t think it really applied to me, but this is definitely not true. Another reason is that youth today might feel that their say doesn’t have much of an impact by just their vote. If everyone is apathetic or doesn’t care enough to find out information, it will be hard to build up a stronger nation because leaders don’t know as much what we want or need for the country. As for voting in the next weeks, I think the different representatives from clubs, housing communities and asuci here on campus have made a great effort in encouraging us to vote and registering those who haven’t registered. i think it is important for everyone, before voting, to read through what the different policies are to know your own opinion.

  29. Nimrah Salim

    Generally speaking many US youth remain unaware about the ongoing politics in the country and worldwide. I personally believe that at fault here is the school system whose curriculum almost never focuses on current events and politics. Out of the 20 or so students in my cousin’s class, 18 (a graduate level class) could not name the current state senators. This proves that no matter the level of education, involvement and even just keeping up with news is just not a priority in schools and universities. Education does increase the overall rate of votes amongst youth, and I believe that this is because that going to college raises awareness of what is going on. Many organizations that try to get voter registration often are located on college campuses. However even then the interest in politics is not there. Often people are not interested because they believe that its does not play a significant role in their daily life. For example, how does our current foreign policy play a role in our work and school life. In truth, it actually doesn’t, and this is what prevents youth from taking and being involved in current politics. It is almost sort of a “what’s in it for me,” scenario. When tuition hikes went up students came out and protested with a staggering gusto. However when the workers alliance protested the unfair treatment of workers at UCI, students were unsurprisingly absent. Also the widespread belief that voting doesn’t really help or make a difference prevents youth from going out and voting. After all what is the significance of one voice amongst millions? In the article Erin Mazursky claims “The American people allowed fear to take hold and let the government rule their lives rather than telling the government how they were going to run their own.” This relates back to the point about how people don’t believe that what they do actually makes a difference. The government is seen as an authoritative figure whose words and rulings are definite and trying to change them wouldn’t result in anything and just leave you frustrated. Also in the US today media plays such a big role in everything we do, especially entertainment. Because of the extensive role of entertainment, informative media is not sought out as more. The need to know the lives of celebrities is more highly prioritized than the need to know about the changes then current government is making. I believe that the reason Albania youth would be more likely to vote is because they can see the change in front of their eyes, while youth in the United States have so many opportunities handed to them that they forget to look beyond what they themselves are given and focus on the changes they can make.

  30. David Moghissi

    In any poltical system, the force of younger generations can be significant. Whether or not that power is actually harnessed is a different matter, however. Despite the author’s writing on the youth’s activity in Albania and Lok Sabha, most people would agree that we have a different situation in America. In my opinion, the youth choose to remain disengaged with politics in this country because they fail to appreciate how policies created today affect tomorrow. In addition, many younger American citizens are simply apathetic. Some don’t really care about political developments on the state, national, or international level. The youth can better connect themselves to the political spectrum if their peers launch some sort of word-of-mouth campaign. Once young people see their peers getting involved in a political issue, they’ll probably begin to second guess their inaction or apathy.

  31. Ai-Thuan Nguyen

    The youth in Albania and Lok Sabha had an insight that many youth nowadays do not have. They knew youth can have a huge effect of the voting process but there was a problem; a lot of kids do not participate in the voting process. In my opinion, the reason why youth do not actively participate in politics is because they have no driving force behind them and the people around them are not involved either. I not sure of my voting status but I have no interest in politics. If there was actually a law that was going to affect me then I might think of voting but most of the laws that is awaiting the voting process does not pertain to me. The only reason why Obama was voted in office was because of his outer appearance. His campaign might have been good but a huge factor that went for him is due to his ethnic background. Many people just want to see a black president just like they wanted a female president. It all seemed like a joke to me.

  32. Alexis Utanes

    The roles of youth in Albania, Lok Sabha and US compare very differently to each other. According to the articles, it seems like Lok Sabha’s election candidates are using the Youth vote only for their personal gain. They know that 60 percent of voters are under 40, so they are offering positions for young people to run for office—hoping the Youth will vote for them. They are not encouraging the youth to vote in breeding a population of lifelong voters, nor do they even know if their political agendas align. On the other hand, Albania seems like the most active, developing the G99 Party in 2003, an Albanian youth movement that began in response to widespread government corruption. They challenge Albanian citizens to engage in community elections and activities. It is difficult to get voter participation in Albania because when all they have seen is a corrupt government, they are not quick to believe someone promising otherwise. The article claims this challenge to be active citizens is in “a similar way that Obama challenged Americans,” but current data and graphs show that US youth voter population has been declining during the last few decades. The reason is people have just stopped paying attention. “The American people allowed fear to take hold and let the government rule their lives rather than telling the government how they were going to run their own.” They have become hopeless and distrustful, but the results of the last election proved that US has “overcome their fear to not just vote for something different but to become part of that world-sifting change.” Once again voters believe they can make a difference. I plan on asking friends, family, acquaintances, etc if they are going to vote in the upcoming election. If they are not, I will tell them how important it is for them to exercise their right to vote. It starts with me first, though. I hope they registered…

  33. krystin uyema

    I think so few youth vote because they feel uninformed about politics and the electoral process. Many youth proably lack a basic understanding of how the American government operates as well. Youth believe that government and elections are not releveant to things they care about. This could by why many prefer to engage in community service instead. Some may think the system is corrupt or have been overexposed to some messages and underexposed to others. Older people probably vote more because they are more likely to read the newspapers and care about politics. To ensure my friends and I vote in the next 3 weeks I will first make sure they are registered and make it more of an event and not so casual. I’ll probably suggest going to eat lunch or something first and then heading over to the voting site. I think this will motivate them to go more if its planned more and a group outing.

  34. Stephen Mendez

    Large numbers of people make up excuses that convince themselves not to vote. People tell themselves and others: “I haven’t read up on politics so I don’t feel informed enough to vote” or “I’m too busy to read up or vote”. The one line I hear repeatedly that is the motto of our generation is “why should I vote if my vote doesn’t even matter.” All of these are excuses which arise from the laziness of the people. A large majority of people have also grown to dislike many of the politicians and have fostered a great sense of distrust in America’s political field. I have been pressuring my friends to vote. They have presented me with all the excuses I mentioned. I will continue pressuring them and telling them all the reasons to vote that my AP US history professor taught me.

  35. Wendy Salazar

    Sadly, I must agree when people say that my generation is much more apathetic about politics than previous generations. Yes, it might not be everyone, but definitely a large portion. I myself am not caught up to date and not really that involved when it comes to politics. I feel it can be due to several factors such as simply not being exposed to it at home and school. When my mom became a US Citizen she was so proud of being able to vote, but when the time came, she never did. At my high school, if you learned about our democracy it was because you were one of the lucky students to have a good US History teacher. Politics nor democracy was taught in my government class, but instead grammar and vocabulary. If teachers don’t emphasize the importance of knowing and being proactive, then students won’t be interested nor involved.

    Regardless, I feel the need to become more involved and start changing the pattern starting at home. I am currently researching the candidates for this upcoming election and am making sure to take my mother and grandmother with me on election day. I have to start somewhere.

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