The little girl who answered the door was very cute, but when I asked to see her mom or dad, her mother came up to the door and, without a word, slammed it hard in my face. You see, mom was a teacher. Things didn't always go so well on the doorstep during the campaign because of the teachers' dispute. Understanding that tempers are running high, I still wondered what kind of an example she was setting for her daughter.
I found that people are passionate about their politics, whether it be teachers, environmentalists concerned about oil pipelines or the land reserve, those angry about the HST or the woman who believes that the elites are preparing to survive in underground cities while the world burns (true story)!
The ones who were notably NOT passionate about politics were youth. People in their teens or twenties were generally disengaged. They couldn't care less, even though they're the ones who will be footing tomorrow's tax bill, because they don't think their opinion matters even though the decisions we make now will impact their lives in a real way.
But here's the secret: because so few young people are interested, those who are become that much more important. That's why it's key for you to be reading this. If you're a young person, your political impact stands to be way bigger than you. You can have a disproportionate political impact. And it's imperative that thoughtful, generous, responsible people get involved to ensure that our society gets better and not worse. There are no guarantees; it truly will be up to you.
So get involved. Commit. Become a young BC Liberal and help guide all our tomorrows.
This contribution to the BCYL blog was written by Laurie Throness the BC Liberal candidate in Chilliwack-Hope during the provincial by-election in April 2012.
A graduate of Canadian Bible College in Regina with a degree in Biblical Studies, Laurie later went on to earn a degree in history from Waterloo University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Queen’s University. In 2002, Laurie pursued a PhD in History at Cambridge University in the UK, and wrote a book (published in October 2008) about the history of our penitentiary (prison) system. Laurie has had a long career in public service within government and opposition in both Ottawa and Victoria. He began as Executive Assistant to former MLA Harvey Schroeder. In 1994, Laurie began work for Chilliwack Reform MP Chuck Strahl through his first term in Ottawa. Laurie then joined the Opposition Leader’s office as a policy researcher and provided advice to three opposition leaders - Preston Manning, Stockwell Day and Stephen Harper. Following the election of the Conservative government, Laurie served as the Chief of Staff to Minister Chuck Strahl in the departments of Agriculture, Aboriginal Affairs, and Transport.