... to worry that the EU referendum has reinforced the disenfranchisement of young people?

(36 Posts)
olderthanyouthink Fri 24-Jun-16 19:00:48

Ignoring the meaning of the two voting options for a minute.

I kind of think that the referendum has, in a way, proved that commonly held belief that the young peoples votes don't make a difference. Tonnes of young people voted for the first time yesterday because they started to believe that they might be able to make a difference but unfortunately it seems (in the media and YouGovs poll) the the young were over ruled but the old.

I think it would be a different story if there wasn't such a stark difference in what the generations wanted. I can't help but think this is just set back the progress of getting young people involved in politics.

branofthemist Fri 24-Jun-16 19:03:39

I was disenfranchised when labour introduced university fees. I ended up not going. The thought of debt was too much.

While my older brother got a grant to go.

It happens. You grow up, get over it realise that a democracy isn't perfect. But it's what we have got. Sometimes the decisions that are made are not the ones we want or that we would make.

RaskolnikovsGarret Fri 24-Jun-16 19:06:54

At DDs' school, 95% of the children voted for Remain in a mock vote. And look what the country has done to them. A disconnect indeed.

MoreCrackThanHarlem Fri 24-Jun-16 19:21:02

Every child who I spoke to in school this week (I work in an inner city primary) wanted to remain in the EU.

The result is in complete opposition to everything we teach there; it's better to work together, inclusivity and the ability to connect with others and find common ground.

So yes, I think they were left feeling bewildered today by what they see as our inability to do so in the "adult" world.

Plus, for the children of immigrant families it will certainly feel like a vote against what they perceive in school to be a big welcome when they initially arrive.

Lifeisdinky Fri 24-Jun-16 19:21:04

A disconnect yes but is there any way around the potential that one group (whether the young or women for example) when the vote is a yes/ no thing.
In this referendum Londoners, Scots , N.Irish could all be said to have been disenfranchised but everyone had the opportunity to vote just that the majority opinion of the young, Londoners , Scots etc was ounumbered by the opinion held by the old, northerners, southerners etc.

Anything that breaks the electorate up into smaller group (ie constituencies) gives the impression of being more representative of the opinions of all rather than the us vs them referendum system

Ailicece Fri 24-Jun-16 19:22:14

Absolutely. It's heart-breaking. I'm so grateful my children also have EU passports, but devastated for their friends, and for a whole generation who will miss out on what we were offered.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Fri 24-Jun-16 19:26:49

Ds1 (20) voted out.
Ds2 (18) abstained
Ds3 (16) would have voted out if he could.

I have no worries about it confused,

Powergower Fri 24-Jun-16 19:28:25

That has been one of the hardest thing about this whole fiasco - the look on my kids faces. How do you explain this while 'let's take back our country' slogan to innocent, inclusive and positive young people who have accepted and loved with far more diversity than the boomers? The underlying racist narrative is hard to explain away and goes against everything I have taught my children about the equality of human beings and acceptance of others.

They've effectively been deprived of their freedom by a generation of ill informed, fearful older people who have not faced the hardships they have handed down.

purits Fri 24-Jun-16 19:28:57

I was 17 last time we had a EEC/EU vote so I didn't get a look in. The vote was against what I wanted. It hasn't stopped me voting since. In fact, I think it's my duty to the Suffergettes to do so.
That's the way democrcy goes - you have to accept the will of the majority.
I'n sure that they will get over it.

I'm glad that we had a say this time, as opposed to when John Major signed us up to Maastricht. I'd rather be out-voted than denied a vote.

olderthanyouthink Fri 24-Jun-16 19:33:57

Lifeisdinky Yes you can obviously conveniently break it down in to the demographics that didn't get what they wanted, but my point is that London, N.Ireland & Scotland aren't generally known as non-voters are they? Note like young people are.

Or maybe they are and I just never heard about it...

Prawnofthepatriarchy Fri 24-Jun-16 19:38:48

My whole household (2 ds plus partners and me) voted remain, as did their friends. We're all commiserating with each other today. The young I know seem all to have made a point of voting. There have been quite a few discussions in my house and elsewhere over the past couple of months.

Sure, they're all disappointed, but at least they voted, and that's an important thing to instill in the young.

limitedperiodonly Fri 24-Jun-16 19:39:59

I believe people have been raising this issue since as long ago as 1958, OP.

[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWbXCz9UZYo As they said, I'd like to help you son, but you're too young to vote.

BlunderWomansCat Fri 24-Jun-16 19:40:32

DD 22 - remain
DS 25 - remain

OzzieFem Fri 24-Jun-16 20:15:50

Obviously I could not vote. Isn't it possible that the older people have seen the dramatic changes that occured in their country since joining the EU more clearly than those that have grown up and started working while being an EU member.

According to reports I have read, UK was 1 of 4 countries pouring the most money into the EU, and while receiving money back, ended up losing more than 3 billion per year. Money that should be spent on Uk citizens.

olderthanyouthink Fri 24-Jun-16 21:21:30

Prawnofthepatriarchy It's great that so many more young people voted but I really hope that it hasn't been too disheartening and that we continue to vote more.

OzzieFem While that may be at least partly true, who's right or wrong isn't my point. It's more that the older generations with opposing views are incredibly difficult to beat, that it could just seem like there isn't much point of trying.

SanityClause Fri 24-Jun-16 21:32:46

The people who were old enough to vote in 1975 thought they were voting for a trading bloc. And what they got changed gradually into what we have (had sad ) now. So, perhaps they voted out this time, because this wasn't what they originally signed up to.

The people that are young today know what they are signing up to. A Europe that's heading for ever-closer union. They know that, and it's what they want.

I agree that it seems cruel to do them out of something that will affect them for so many years. It's not like a general election, where if we elect a duff government, we can vote them out in a few years time.

tooyoungtobeagrandma Fri 24-Jun-16 21:52:05

I'm a 64 year old Remainer who is presently working with lots of young people. All of them over the last couple of weeks have said they were voting to leave, quoting the amount we pay and problems of immigrants. I have tried to counter the arguments but it was obvious most of them did not really appreciate the wider picture and were voting on gut feelings. Several said today they did not vote in the end because they did not feel qualified to make the decision.

Two points I feel strongly about are: Firstly, why weren't these young people who are now complaining, out there shouting out what they wanted and why? It's no good saying you are disenfranchised now if you haven't been campaigning for what you believe in.

Secondly, stop concentrating on the age issue and look at the picture across the UK. People of all ages outside London feel that the EU is undemocratic, arrogant, wasteful and inefficient and that no one, including our government, cares about them as much as they do Londoners.

louisagradgrind Fri 24-Jun-16 23:05:18

Would you have liked an upper age limit on the vote?

It seems there are a lot of posts today saying this or that group shouldn't be allowed to vote with someone even suggesting some sort of intelligence test first.

Not very joined up thinking.

MrHannahSnell Sat 25-Jun-16 00:25:07

Sanity Clause I voted in the 1975 referendum and there was an expression in use at the time "The United States of Europe". That referendum was about more than just joining a trading area and most people realised it at the time.

ItsNotUnusualToBe Sat 25-Jun-16 00:33:27

My DD27, SIL29, Dd19 all voted REMAIN. All DD19s peer group voted remain and are very cross at the news that the 45+ age group voted EXIT.

My MIL is 78, voted REMAIN and said (probably in despair) that over 70s shouldn't have been allowed to vote.
We're in Wales. I have no idea where all the EXIT voted came from.

louisagradgrind Sat 25-Jun-16 00:43:20

I think you'll find it's democracy and sometimes, at one time or another, we'll all be the losing side. Your children being so cross might be a sign that they aren't yet mature enough to grasp that.

There are alternative systems in the world if you find it difficult to live with.

ItsNotUnusualToBe Sat 25-Jun-16 00:51:26

They're 19. They're cross. It's because they care. They are immature. They're 19.

Not sure why you think I should go live in an alternative system but thanks for the advice.

OTheHugeManatee Sat 25-Jun-16 00:54:40

Youth turnout was low relative to older generations, even if higher than usual. Those who didn't bother to vote disenfranchised themselves.

Sorry but if youth turnout was 25% of those eligible, of which 75% were for Remain, that doesn't add up to any overwhelming conclusions about what the young think of the EU overall and certainly doesn't add up to anyone being robbed of anything.

madein1995 Sat 25-Jun-16 00:54:46

I would like the vitriol to the older generation to stop (not aimed at you op, more the idiots on my fb). Of course it affects the younger generation but that's life - I didn't want a Tory government this year but we got one. But my fb is making out that voters from the 65+ age groups did it to spite young people, to deny them the opportunities they had (which is all relative, I can tell you my life is/is likely to be easier than my parents and grandparents, just a there's rich and advantaged pensioners there's those who haven't been so lucky) and now some 'clever' 21 year old darling has suggested banning the elderly from voting as they won't be alive long enough for it to affect them! Aside from the fact it's ageist and down right wrong considering those people likely worked and paid their taxes, nd a good few fought in a war for us,who is to say when any of us will die? I do understand young people feeling down. But the attitude of some towards the younger generation is wrong

madein1995 Sat 25-Jun-16 00:56:10

Last sentence should read older generation, oops

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