The survival of the Party depends on attracting young people to participate in the political process. Youth are highly skeptical of traditional politics and it is increasingly difficult to categorize youth politics and voting patterns. It is even harder to recruit young people into establishment politics of any stripe. Even those who are politically engaged and active are more likely to go it alone or identify with a group that claims to be non-partisan.
While the NDP should have some appeal among young people, it has not capitalized on a natural fit of interests.
The Party cannot simply hope to link itself to a growing anti-globalization movement. It is wishful thinking to assume that the NDP can attract members by merely being present at these events. It must rethink the resources it dedicates to youth involvement and must recruit young people vigorously. While this Committee will have more to say on concrete structural mechanisms to achieve these goals in our final report, in the interim we recommend that the Party:
- Become a voice for and with youth by adapting its structures, policies and strategies to engage youth in political action.