Politics is, and always has been dominated by the older generation. The latest 115th Congress in America is the oldest in history according to Quora. The average age of a Representative is 57 while the average age of a Senator is 61. On a more local level, here in Ireland, only one candidate under the age of 25 was elected to the Oireachtas in 2016, where as there were around 67 candidates between the age of 36 and 55 elected.
After learning these statistics, Ciara and I decided to do a video where we discussed how we believe youths could be encouraged to run for office or to just simply get involved in politics and voting. Here are the five points we came up with.
One way we believed more youths would get interested and involved in politics would be educating them better about political structures. We get very little insight into politics at a young age. We believe that a class could be introduced into schools to teach pupils all about the political structure in their country. The majority of youths in todays society wouldn't know much about their political structure or even the names of the big politicians in their country and by teaching them this in school they might become more interested.
It is very well known that running an election campaign is very very expensive. There are so many different expenses involved in running a successful campaign and getting elected. Young people very rarely have the amount of money needed for running a campaign. If a grant or scholarship was available to young people who were to run for office whether it's local or national, it might entice more younger people to take the first step on the political ladder.
University Stepping Stone
Young people who go to college often join societies and among them would be political societies. Most universities have political societies where you can go and meet with people who have the same interests as you. There societies however don't have much say in the bigger scheme of politics. If they did have more of a say in the countries government, there might be more of a draw to these groups for young people. Getting the youth more involved in our government will draw them to become more interested and believe they can make a change.
Shadow A Local Politician
The best way to learn about politics is to shadow someone like a local councillor, an MP or the equivalent in your country. If you are a young person who wants to get involved in politics but don't know where to begin, consider going to a local politician and getting some advice or guidance from there and see if they would allow you to shadow them for a week when they are out canvassing for example. This will be very beneficial in your run to become a politician.
We know that party politics isn't for everyone. Young voters especially don't believe in the party politics the way we know the older generation did and do. For these people remember the option of going as an independant is always available. This can allow you to follow your beliefs and do what you believe in rather than following party beliefs. Take what you believe in and create your campaign from this.