Millennials have a different vision of society from that of their parents. Since traditional political parties (which formed numerous governments in many western countries until recently) mostly relied on “aging” members, how can young people make their point of view and ideas known? Several of the speakers and panelists at the Youth Network invited the participants to get involved in politics, by being better informed, taking part in the debates, becoming activists or, even, running in the next elections. It is the best engine for societal change, so that it increasingly resembles the younger generations.
Inspiring youth: eloquent examples
In contrast to the omnipresent rise of the right, young millennials tirelessly fight for a more fair, environmentally friendly and egalitarian society. Left-wing parties and movements, namely in Québec, England, France and the United States, are carried by the young generations.
For example, last November, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a young 28-year-old Latin American activist from New York City was elected to the American House of Representatives against all odds. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez then became the youngest representative ever elected to the American Congress.
In the recent Québec elections, Québec solidaire saw a meteoric rise in the popular vote and saw its number of MNAs triple. Mainly carried by young people age 35 and under, this movement will inevitably have a concrete influence on the political game that will be played out in the National Assembly in the coming years.
Québec politics: young MNAs and candidates want to do things differently
The Youth Network was an opportunity to welcome four candidates from the last elections, three of whom are now sitting as MNAs in the National Assembly. Marwah Rizqy, MNA for Saint-Laurent, Catherine Fournier, MNA for Marie-Victorin, Samuel Poulin, MNA for Beauce-Sud and Vanessa Roy, candidate in Verdun, unanimously expressed their desire to see young people get more involved in Québec politics. Ending political-speak, fostering collaboration between political parties instead of partisan rivalry, being political first and foremost to defend ideals and values rather than to gain power: the panelists gave more examples demonstrating their willingness to engage in politics differently, in the image of the young people they are.
Their authenticity and deep trust in politics as a tool for social change greatly inspired the Youth Network union representatives. Let’s hope that some of them caught the bug and will get further involved in the future!