Blue Iguana writes: Apparently, a certain constitutional entitlement is rather unimportant in our democratic society. If there’s one thing that the Elections Office’s canvassing exercise reveals about Cayman’s youth, it’s this: politics disinterests them. That’s essentially the message our young Caymanians are expressing emphatically. The numbers don’t lie and do not suggest otherwise.
Despite the Economics and Statistics Office recording 4,297 Caymanians between the ages of 15-24 in 2015 – constituting more than one-tenth of the population – local media reports indicate that this demographic comprises a mere 2.6 per cent of registered voters, according to data analysed at the Elections Office.
The last date to register in time for the 2017 elections is 16 January.
In other words, it is estimated that 506 people within this age range have the privilege to vote. However, what’s more disheartening is that, as little as this figure is, 506 young voters doesn’t necessarily equate to 506 active voters.
One must bear in mind that the aforementioned statistics are somewhat skewed, as people between the ages of 15-17 are not permitted to register. Nevertheless, Elections Supervisor Wesley Howell elucidated that our young Caymanians are not participating democratically as much as they could.
He’s definitely correct. There are an estimated 5,000 people eligible to vote who haven’t formally registered. That figure of unregistered electors is the equivalent of 25.6 per cent of the current electorate and is attributed by the growth in both status-holders and adolescents reaching age 18.
It’s quite a pity that Cayman’s youth fail to see how increasingly decisive and powerful we could be as an important voting bloc in May 2017.
Many rejected the chance to register solely because they loathe the idea of becoming a prospective juror, whereas others were utterly uninterested altogether. As diverse and seemingly deplorable as the commonly cited reasons to abstain were, our youth simply have yet to offer a reasonably justified explanation regarding their non-participation.
As a young Caymanian myself, it disappoints me to see so many of my own peers take our democratic freedom for granted. More often than not, holding a conversation concerning local politics with friends usually proves fruitless and pointless.
Perhaps if we lived under an authoritarian dictatorship devoid of democratic rule, our young people might begin to appreciate and treasure forevermore the political privilege of voting.
Remember, remaining eligible to vote but unregistered means you’ve relinquished your right to complain.