It is extremely difficult to convince the young generation that voting in national elections is important.
The Standard Opinion
The reason for this is not far to find. All our youths have in the past decade seen the futility of the whole electoral process because it has been subverted now and again to suit certain interests.
None of our born-frees have ever experienced the joy and satisfaction of a free and fair election. They have therefore concluded that elections do not change anything.
They cannot be blamed for this. It is therefore incumbent upon political parties to change this thinking. How they are going to do this is entirely up to them but one thing is clear, the outcome of the forthcoming watershed elections will be most crucial in the country’s progress towards a modern country where democratic processes are respected and the youths hold the key to this!
The youth, only 18% of whom voted in the last general and presidential elections, are generally uninterested in changing the course of history yet the future is mostly theirs. This contradiction has to be straightened out so that the millions of dollars to be spent on the voter registration exercise can be justified.
But how can the voter-registration exercise be made attractive to a techno-savvy generation that has had its day-to-day living revolutionised by technology? The smaller MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube is right in proposing that it should be possible for voter registration to be done online.
The young generation is naturally repulsed by the old way of doing things. This is the generation that has grown doing virtually all important transaction online, be it applying for university places, banking their allowances, applying for their visas or even courtship.
Unlike the older generation, which grew up in a time when it was mandatory to carry pens on their ears, the youth don’t need writing the way we used to and queues just drive them mad.
Two things are important therefore, namely that youths are drilled on the importance of voting and that voter registration is made as simple as possible for them.