With the election turnout in last month’s Upper House polls the third lowest since World War II at just 52.61%, many are asking questions as to what needs to be done to get more people, particularly the youth, interested enough in politics and make their voices heard during elections. One blog post made some points about how the youth can be made to participate in different stages of the election process which might remove their apathy towards anything political.
During the Upper House elections, some parents brought their children along, either to show them how to vote or because there was no one to take care of them while both parents exercised their right to vote. But some polling places did not allow the parents to bring their children inside, which dismayed the adults and will probably add to the young ones’ disenchantment with elections. In the Public Offices Election Act, Paragraph 58 talks about the situation if an elector should have children with them “due to inevitable circumstances”. It is the station official’s decision if he/she would allow the children “of a certain age” to enter. But the definition of young children accompanied by an adult is still a bit vague.
But the blogger says that for the sake of getting young people more involved in politics and elections, then maybe they should already be exposed to the whole polling process to give them a feel of what it is like to actually vote. He also cites that clause in the recently approved amendment to the Election Act to allow Internet campaigning which states that minors cannot be involved in any campaign. Even retweeting any candidate is not allowed for those who are 18 or 19 years old. Those in that age bracket are old enough to start becoming politically literate and can even be employed, and yet tweeting about candidates is forbidden to them. The blogger says that instead of just blaming the kids themselves for not being interested enough to vote or bemoaning the continuing low voter turn-out, maybe the law should be revised to help change the status quo.
[ via Japan Crush ]