What did you want to be when you grew up? Maybe it was an actor or an astronaut, or perhaps a fireman or pop star? Chances are, it wasn’t an MP or even Prime Minister.
When it comes to political apathy, Britain’s young people lead the way. Generation Y may be inspired by issues like global warming or the price of an Oyster card, but you wouldn’t know it at election time. In 2005, only 39 per cent of 18-24 year olds voted in the general election, compared with three quarters of over 65s.
Teens and young adults may have been the first to rail against Labour’s decisions on the Iraq war or tuition fees, but they were curiously absent from the ballot box.
Of course, it’s not just Britain and its not just now. For years across the western democratic world, electoral turnout, and wider participation in campaigning or party activism, has been plummeting. Just as British youths were disillusioned with politics, so were American ones. Until 2008, that is.
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