Ever since I wrote about the poor turn out of 18-25 year old voters in the Eu Referendum (See THIS POST Here) and showed that 64% of the 18-24 age group failed to vote I've been thinking about why the young are so unlikely to vote. I started following the usual mantra that this non-voting was simply a form of laziness or a symptom of societal dislocation of some sort.
But maybe it is simpler than that, and more honourable too.
What if the young, recognising their lack of life experience, are simply abstaining and letting the older and (maybe) wiser councils of their elders make the decision?
Maybe we should even encourage people to abstain. Or more properly, we should encourage people to give proper consideration of the presented arguments before voting. If that consideration results in the voter coming to the conclusion that they really do not know which way to vote then abstention is a proper and considered response.
Vilifying the young for not voting is no answer. Instead of raging about their lack of respect for democracy we should be encouraging the young (and non-voters in general) to become better informed.
Forcing young people to dive headlong into electoral decision making to which they are ill-equipped is a bad idea. Why not wait for them to get a little more life experience first? Then they may be more capable of registering a meaningful vote.
So be nice to that young and spotty non-voter. Their abstention may not be not due to a lack of interest but due to a lack of experience.