Comment: Are The Northern Ireland Election Candidates Doing Enough To Speak To Young People?

Well, here we are again. It’s always such a pleasure to look upon society with an upturned nose, but today I must look much closer to home and discuss the 2022 Northern Ireland Assembly election, due to begin tomorrow (at the time of writing), May 5th.

I thought it was still April, honestly. That said, where do you begin with such a subject? I suppose it’s only fair that we tackle the objective before the subjective, discuss the facts of the matter before how they make me clench my fists in rage.

What’s the deal?

Tomorrow, all of us here in our little cake slice of the United Kingdom will descend upon all places one can vote at and cast our judgement for the fate of our society by electing one of eight men or women to office. When it comes to the candidates I have never heard of any of these men or women in my life, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I could get into the nitty gritty of what these politicians stand for, but I will save that for your own research, readers, and only bring up what’s relevant for this article. There is a question we must ask, however…are these politicians doing enough to appeal to the most culturally and politically sensitive group out there; Gen Z?

Zoomer Watch!

It’s no secret that my generation, those born between the late nineties and early 2010s, are some of the ones most concerned with the state of our world, its politics and nature. After all, we did grow up to inherit a planet that is currently on fire.

In terms of the election, what’s the consensus on it?

Well, I can only speak for certain based on my own experience, and I will confess that when I walked in and sat down at my desk this morning, I didn’t know the election was happening at all. I was completely apathetic to the political fate of Northern Ireland until this very moment, because I believed it out of my hands. The fact of the vote is that one man holds no power, but a thousand holds all of it. I could never achieve meaningful change on my own, I believed.

It was only after having a conversation with my publisher and editor, Tina Calder, that I realised that politicians depend on people like me to stay in power, people who don’t care enough to want to change things or don’t think they can, allowing their parties to stay in office for long periods of time. I still won’t be voting, because I’m not sure if I’m registered to do so and it is on too short a notice, but I encourage all reading this to do so if possible.

As for myself? I’m still not sure about the election, seeing as I’m largely ignorant about the candidates and I’m too late to participate in it. But.. it’s not all about me.

What about the others?

There’s more to this than just me, what about all the others my age who are facing a similar dilemma? In their case, the candidates may wish to appeal to them and get them on their side fast.

Personally, I don’t think a majority of them are doing this, as the easiest way to get support from Gen Z or even Millennials is to show open, unconditional support for human rights. Ban conversion therapy for gay and trans people, keep abortions legal, support integrated education, anything that means fair and equal treatment for everyone.

Unfortunately, because we can’t have nice things, most politicians are deeply everything-phobic and don’t support things such as the LGBTQIA, or abortions. The reason why, I could never fathom, but if they want to be wrong it’s their choice.

Conclusion

To make a long story short, I just hope we don’t make things worse once the election is over. I don’t care who gets elected as long as they don’t try to infringe on human rights or be an active detriment to our society, lord knows we have enough people like those already, the last thing we need is for one of them to be listened to.