Monday, April 9, 2012

Millennials Are Changing the Face of Canadian Politics

Change the manner in which information flows and the power structures will soon follow.

Politics are changing in this country and for once it’s not because of the blasted baby boomers, although they have played a hand in bringing about the change because it is their offspring that is changing the face of Canada.

Unlike their parents, who are often technologically challenged, the Millennials have grown up with the Internet, and it is unquestionably an integral part of their social networks.

Mom and dad, on the other hand, grew up watching broadcast television, never ever fully realizing that they were the product being offered up to powers that controlled a consumer culture that effectively co-opted the counter culture of the sixties and repackaged it by integrating their values into creative marketing campaigns.

Yet kids are extremely hip to the follies of their parents.

The Millennials have taken the progressive elements of the baby boomer zeitgeist and stripped it of its crass conspicuous consumption.  This is not to say that the yuppie strain has been eradicated, but its effect has been sufficiently muted so the progressive tendencies of this generation stand out.

Remember this is the generation that elected Obama.  This the generation that created the huge wave in Quebec that brought the New Democratic Party to the status of official opposition, and in my opinion will elect the NDP in 2015.

It’s simply a question of cohort replacement.  As each year passes, they become a larger percentage of the electorate and they are much more politicized than their slacker predecessors, generation X.  At the same time, the older folk, who had the fear of God forced upon them, are dying off, taking with them the appeal of Christian identity politics and an overzealous respect for authority.

This is the first post-war generation that cannot be controlled by traditional broadcast media. 

It’s not that they have tuned out; they have switched platforms and, as a result, have gained collective control of what passes for communications.  For instance, the opinions expressed in their social networks carry much more weight than those heard on talk radio, or expressed by political pundits on television, or to be found in the op-ed pieces in newspapers.

Just as the industrial revolution ushered in a time of great social transformation, so will the digital information revolution, and no, it won’t be televised, but you can follow it on the web. 

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