The morality of generational voting

British politics has experienced what's been dubbed a "youth-quake." What seemed like political certainties a few weeks ago have been turned on their head by the high youth turnout. And that's a Good Thing isn't it? Politicians have long bewailed the fact that young people don't exercise their democratic right - even if all it takes is not much more than putting a simple 'X' in a box. Until now electoral arithmetic meant that politicians targeted increasingly smaller groups of voters in key constituencies. Now, with people under the age of 25 more engaged than ever in the political process, it's argued that politicians will have to recalibrate their policies to serve a wider group of citizens. There are also those who argue that political parties have been too ready to bow to the power of the "grey vote", too reluctant to look to the next generation and the future. The philosopher John Gray wrote that "the modern world is founded on the belief that it's possible for human beings to shape a future that's better than anything in the past." Has this election been a triumph for young people who've captured that spirit and finally made their voice heard, or has it enshrined grievance and divisive notions of inter-generational unfairness? Is the political engagement of the young a triumph for democracy, or just another group blatantly voting in their own interest? Will the newly enthused youth vote now engage more with the political system and take responsibility for their vote, or just drift off when the next shiny new thing comes along? Has the "youth-quake" spelled the end of managerial politics and brought back commitment, principle and idealism, or has it brought just dangerous uncertainty? The morality of democracy and generational voting. Producer Phil Pegum.

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43 minutes

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Wed 14 Jun 2017 20:00

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