Incomplete Thought #3: Which comes first: next generation voting, or civility in politics?

Next generation voter turnout rates are bad in Canada at all level of elections – student government to federal government.

I think this is for a combination of many reasons. Some logistical: it’s a bit of a pain for university students who live and/or spend the majority of their time NOT in their home riding. Some apathetical: there doesn’t seem to be a direct impact on their lives, and their one vote wouldn’t change anything. Some related to frustration: being so disgusted with the decorum of politics that voting for anyone makes their skin crawl.

Note to politicians

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Because youth don’t come out to vote like other age groups, the youth vote isn’t targeted (and if it is, it would seem that all the next generation cares about is marijuana and tuition). Sure it might be pandered too, but not properly courted. I used to argue that in order to attract the youth vote, politicians needed to make politics more civil, more engaging. But now, I think I’m with Rick Mercer. Youth need to turnout to vote first. Eventually, the pandering will follow.

It is the conventional wisdom of all political parties that young people will not vote. And the parties, they like it that way.

So please, if you are between the age of 18 and 25, and you want to scare the hell out of the people that run this country, this time around, do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day and do what young people all over the world are dying to do. Vote.



So which should come first? Young voters turning out? Or civil, engaging, relevant politics? Who owes what to whom?

Discuss.

The Incomplete Thought Series is, well, a series of incomplete thoughts. These are thoughts I have not researched, but which have popped into my head and am interested in discussing. Your incomplete or complete thoughts are encouraged.

Incomplete Thought #3: Do we ‘lead’ volunteers, or ‘manage’ them?

When we talk about working with volunteers, the word “volunteer management” is the general phrase that’s used. People whose job it is to do volunteer management are volunteer managers.

But what about leading volunteers?

I say that for those engaging passion citizens as volunteers, is it not even more important to inspire vision? To show people what is possible? To actively engage minds and individual motivations?

The only problem is, the phrase “volunteer leader” sounds like you are a leader who is not getting paid, not one who leads volunteers.

Damn “volunteer” and its dual use of noun and adjective.

Oh, and by the way, happy belated International Volunteer Managers Day, which was apparently on November 5.

Discuss.

The Incomplete Thought Series is, well, a series of incomplete thoughts. These are thoughts I have not researched, but which have popped into my head and am interested in discussing. Your incomplete or complete thoughts are encouraged.

Incomplete Thought #2: Education is the solution for everything

Birth rates too high? Educate women.

Industry collapses? Reeducate workers.

Want democracy? Let girls learn.

Want to ward off terrorism? Keep young men in school.

etc. etc. etc.

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Lack of knowing creates fear, intolerance, ignorance, bad decision making, oppression.

More known = more good.

Discuss.

The Incomplete Thought Series is, well, a series of incomplete thoughts. These are thoughts I have not researched, but which have popped into my head and am interested in discussing. Your incomplete or complete thoughts are encouraged.

Incomplete Thought #1: People in politics and humanitarian work shouldn’t be

In Tamga, Kyrgyzstan, I met a woman who worked for MSF and had been in the south doing some work after the ethnic violence around Osh and Jalalabad. She told me there was a saying about humanitarian workers. They’re all one of three ‘M’s: madmen, missionaries, or martyrs. Generally, people doing it for the wrong reasons.

At another time, I heard (perhaps in a movie?) that the people that get into politics are the exact wrong people who should be. People who want to be mayor/premier/prime minister are at some level attracted to power and attention. Again, doing it for the wrong reasons.

Now, there are definitely good people working in international aid and politics. But the two systems are almost set up to reward people for the wrong reasons. Politicians need to stay in power. Humanitarian workers want to be relied up. They manifest people and processes that counteract the guts of the work that should be done.

Can these cycles of corrupted positive reinforcement be broken?

Discuss.

The Incomplete Thought Series is, well, a series of incomplete thoughts. These are thoughts I have not researched, but which have popped into my head and am interested in discussing. Your incomplete or complete thoughts are encouraged.