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A Strategy framework to promote youth participation in electoral democracy Concept: Dr. Bhagbanprakash India International Institute of Democracy and Election.

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Presentation on theme: "A Strategy framework to promote youth participation in electoral democracy Concept: Dr. Bhagbanprakash India International Institute of Democracy and Election."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Strategy framework to promote youth participation in electoral democracy Concept: Dr. Bhagbanprakash India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management

2 “Wake up, you are 18, Sit up, you are a Voter, Stand up, you are a citizen, Walk up, it’s voting time.”

3 Issues and Challenges of Youth Participation in Democracy: Voter Turn Out, Lowering the Voting Age, Reasons and Factors for not Voting, Motivation for Voting, Voter Types, EVM-2: Need for an Enlightened Voters Movement, Learning from others, Indian Youth and Voting, Youth as Catalysts, Social Agents and Actors for Democracy, Promoting Vote-Giving,

4 How to Do: Strategy Component-1: Analyze the Social Environment Strategic component-2: Building Coalition of Volunteers and Voters – Uniting Organisations of Youth Volunteers (OYVs) Strategic component-3: Focusing on Low- Voter-Turn-out constituencies

5 Strategic Component- 4 : Increasing Participation of Young Women Strategic Component-5 :Promoting Urban Youth/ Netizen Participation Strategic Component-6 : Developing Cultural habit of Voting Strategic Component-7 : Celebrating National Voters Day and Week

6 Strategic Component-8 : Youth Participation beyond Voting Strategoc Component-9: Recognizing the contribution of volunteers Strategic Component-10: Putting Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation mechanism in place

7 18+Reasons for the 18 Year-olds to “Stop Complaining and Start Voting” why they should now get united, spread awareness, stop complaining, start voting and take charge of their lives, how it were the youth who had spearheaded the freedom struggle and made sacrifices to win democracy for the country and must defend it now, how mass voter participation will add value to democracy and change the nature of ‘conversation’ between the voter and the voted, how voting is the first critical and concrete step towards youth empowerment using which the youth influence decisions on who should run their country, their state, their municipality, their panchayats and villages and how they should do it. how proactive, participative youth groups in the larger civil society was the base wherein productive forces and societal values influence the super structure of a political society,

8 how they could act as the gears to the engine of democracy to promote and protect national value like secularism and pluralism in their country, how even one vote of one young person matters and it may be his/her vote that makes the difference in the outcome of an elections, what is the opportunity cost and social consequence of not participating in the electoral process, how non participation weakens our constitution and the country, its unity and diversity,

9 how non-participating, non-voting youth indirectly produce non-democratic leaders, how by not voting one loses the moral right to use and enjoy public utilities and services as well as benefits ensured by an elective democracy, how even the elected representatives have exercised their power of voting in passing welfare bills, social legislation and often by amending the constitution (97 times by January 2012), how right to vote is a judicially protected youth right, and privilege of our democracy, how voting is not only a civic duty but, a social good and it is an emphatic declaration of being a part of the community,

10 how combinations of single votes like single voices make a powerful chorus compelling others to listen making little persons big, How if every eligible voter thought that his/her vote would not make a difference and hence should not vote, then we can never have an election nor a democracy, Young people must know why they should not take or treat democracy lightly and brush off their rights to vote, how exercising the right political choice can help them fashion their own destinies as well as prevent voter demoralization,

11 why they should exercise their choice in order to make people respect their voice, why rising above all affiliations they must cast the vote and not vote the caste, for the country and not for the community, how it would facilitate youth access to power and decision making structures at various levels and enable them to pursue their ideology, aspirations and creativity in a free and open society, how optimum voting could prevent,check and control abuse of power and authority as well as electoral fraud, rigging, booth capture and mal practices, how large scale youth participation gives representational legitimacy to the representative democracy of the country,

12 how their vote can bring back from the back burner bread and- butter issues like water, sanitation, light, shelter, education, training, employment, health and infrastructure, that directly affect the youth, how a “youth voter- wave” creates new waves and demands for change in democratic governance and quality of life, how participating in this process the youth can take democratic control of the governance system and how they have done it several times in the past, how a voter can periodically hold the rulers to account and demand answers to questions about their policies, plans, decisions and actions,

13 how full participation of youth converts voting into an aspirational mandate for the elected representatives, how non-voting could turn elected governments into authoritarian, looking to police than politics as solutionto all problems, why choosing the right candidate is their right as well as duty and responsibility, how regular voting could make them more important, more relevant, more visible and sought after, how it could create new opportunities for the youth to play leadership role in public affairs,

14 how voting in elections protects people from calamities like famine and hunger, which essentially makes a difference between life and death, how voting in elections strengthens effective civilian control over military and police and prevents authoritarian rule, how voting is a powerful tool to safeguard social justice, inclusion, rights of marginalized and weaker sections, how democracies spend more resources on goods, services and welfare than autocracies,

15 how its inbuilt checks and balances on legislature, judiciary, executive, media, civil society and corporates ensures respect for the rights of the citizens and how it has a better track record of promoting civil and economic rights than any other political system, how it allows a culture of debate, discussion and dissent, respects freedom of thought and expression and how it enables peaceful change of government and orderly transfer of power at central, state and panchayat level,

16 how by deciding to vote, to contest and enter into policy making structures they can integrate concerns of adolescent and youth into relevant programmes and projects at national regional and local levels, how this can influence other policy makers to invest more resources for social sector, how participation of large number of young woman can make sure that girls and young women access to economic resources, equality of status, welfare and opportunity, Why regular elections are important to make elected representatives accountable to their voters and how lack of proper political education and practice on the part of youth makes politicians get away with exaggerated, unrealistic claims and promises made in misleading manifestos.

17 “Wake up, you are 18, Sit up, you are a Voter, Stand up, you are a citizen, Walk up, it’s voting time.” Thank You


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