A democratic deficit occurs when democratic institutions have shortcomings or don’t keep their values in play.
Many believe that in our current society, the original meaning for democracy and the moral behind it is on a downhill slope.
The belief of the downhill slope hasn’t just been recently; it’s been over the last few decades. The confidence citizens have in their countries’ government is disintegrating.
In 2016, when presidential campaigning was at its peak, approval for Congress among Americans was barely at 13% (Foa and Mounk, 2016).
The distrust citizens have for the decision makers for their country is concerning. It’s not just in the United States. Other countries like France, Germany, and Spain are experiencing a decrease as well.
This idea of being “antidemocratic” is stemming from the disbelief that the government will fix anything and that a full democracy is a bad idea. In the U.S., the numbers have increased by 8% since the 70’s.
Similarly, European numbers regarding belief that democracy is bad has gone up by the same numbers (Foa and Mounk, 2016).
I think this is happening because the millennials or youth genuinely don’t think their votes or voices matter.
The people who can make the most difference, the young people, aren’t voting and making changes that they’re wanting and then complain about it because they “don’t like politics” or “don’t think it effects them” while it’s quite the contrary.
However, I don’t think it’s entirely young people’s faults.
For example, at ISU, they make it nearly impossible for students to vote. Teachers don’t even give students the day off to vote.
There are only three booths and one location to vote and the school and city do nothing to promote voting.
Voting is a civil duty as well as a right that is not being exercised or even permitted in some cases.
Other schools, like DePauw, automatically sign students up to vote when they register for classes. I think that’s why young people have that “stick it to the man” or “screw the patriarchy” mentality because “the man” is the one keeping us down in a sense.
I think this discourages young people to trust the government and people in charge because we believe they all have their own hidden agenda, and often times they do.
Sometimes it feels like the people above us don’t want us to voice our opinions or implement any change and they want everything to stay the same, but our economic and social environment is no longer similar to the baby boomer’s environment of post-World War II, and thank goodness for it.
We don’t have separate drinking fountains for different races or bail bonds.
We have made progress by making laws permitting civil rights and developed vastly economically. Although these changes have happened, there needs to be more.
It’s like some people think we should slow the pace down and take our time making changes, but if we have the power, ability, and voice to do it now, why shouldn’t we?
You don’t have to be into politics or be so engaged that it rots your brain, but you have the ability to be informed.
Voting can be as simple as knowing your own morals and beliefs and going to candidate’s websites to see if they match.
Of course, maybe dive a little deeper to see some of their history, but it can be so simple.
Voting for the president, midterms and city elections are all of upmost importance.
Most people focus only on the presidential elections, which are important, but the midterms and city elections can and will affect you faster.
For example, Vigo County is currently voting on whether or not to build a casino. Even though you might not think so, this infrastructure definitely affects you.
The building of this casino can raise crime rates, but also raise money for the city that will come back to you.
Either way, it’s a decision that involves you as a student.
Voting is a chance to make a change and we as American citizens have the opportunity to exercise this right, whereas other countries don’t give that right to their citizens.
They have no way to speak their mind because it’s illegal and they definitely don’t have the option to implement change.
Politics, especially right now, may seem kind of wild and increase the distrust you have in government officials, but instead of letting that deter you away from making changes, let it drive you to be informed and use your voice to make a difference.