...as in the imperative (i.e. you, youth, progress). This blog is updated by politically active young people. Issues that will be discussed are those which concern young voters and are of concern to young voters.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Lesson from Our Neighbor

According to Andres Oppenheimer of the Miami Harold, conservative candidate Felipe Calderon captured the plurality of votes by Mexican voters of the ages of 18-29 by 4% over his liberal opponent, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. How does a liberal candidate lose the young vote?

Oppenheimer speculates that pro-business Calderon was seen as a more pragmatic leader than Obrador, who was seen as a liberal ideologue.

The lesson here: If you want the young vote, don't be ideological. Ideology is a powerful tool to unify the base, but an ideological campaign is an unnecessary risk. Presenting solutions to problems, specifically problems that young people face on a daily basis, is a better campaign strategy. According to the Young Voter Strategies initiative by the George Washington University, 34% of American youths categorize themselves as conservatives and 33% as liberals. Thus, campaigning with a liberal (or conservative) message will stir only 1/3 of the youth vote. More American youths categorize themselves as politically moderate than politically liberal or conservative. Calderon and Obrador failed to capture 28% of the youth vote, which went to "center-right and center-left" candidates. The Democrats can galvanize young voters through their disdain of ideologues and libertarian political views by exposing the Republicans as morality police. Further proof of the youth's appetite for practicality over non-binding resolutions and vapid TV ads is the number one issue among our demographic today: Gas prices. That's right, according to the same poll, only 10% of young, American voters say Iraq is the issue in the greatest need of congressional action, whereas 19% say it's gas prices. This is not to say that the Iraq War is merely an ideological issue (quite the contrary, it is a military and diplomatic disaster), I merely wish to demonstrate that the issues which concern young people the most are the ones which affect them the most directly. As I have said before, Democrats could make great progress in the upcoming elections exposing the Republicans as morality police and attackers of civil liberties.

Democrats be practical, be what the Republicans are not. Avoid becoming Obrador.

Update: Some questions have surfaced regarding the fairness of the Mexican elections. Click here for more details.

More Information:

Mexico's Youth Swings Right, Votes for Status Quo - Andres Oppenheimer (Miami Harold)
GW Poll: Young Voters Concerned, Willing to Vote - Emily Metz (Daily Colonial)


Anonymous pandaluz said...

Es muy importante contrastar las declaracciones de Amlo 12 días antes de la elección, poco antes de finalizar el prep, y un día después del cómputo distrital, consulta el video en:
Ahora cumples!!

12:35 PM

Blogger progressyouth said...

Can someone please translate pandaluz's quote? Pandaluz, thank you for posting.

8:14 PM

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