ELECTIONS. A problem of ideology for young voters

E, Gentvilas, G. Landsbergis and A. Butkevičius during the TV debate on LRT

It is a simple problem. Based on ideology, voting is very difficult in Lithuania. US voters always have two parties to choose between, meanwhile Lithuania technically has many. But practically we have two. Just that there is a lack of clear distinction between them in Lithuania, with the differences only appearing on paper. One party functions based on ideology, while the other is left asking what it is, Alfa.lt reports.

It is a sad situation, particularly for those of the young generations. To explain, we just need to look at the major parties.

You only need to have access to Facebook or the internet to understand why a young voter won’t want to turn to the Lithuanian Social Democrat Party (LSDP) and as was pointed out by Gintaras Paluckas in Andrius Tapinas’ Laisvės TV (Freedom TV), a generation change is needed for this to change.

Many young people are rather liberal in their views. If we look at the liberal party of Artūras Zuokas, the Lithuanian Freedom Union, no matter whether you view the leader positively or not, the party will continue to attract too few votes for a long time yet. Meanwhile the larger liberal party, the Liberal Movement continues to struggle due to the scandal hovering over its former chairman Eligijus Masiulis. If the harm and disrespect to voters was mitigated by a timely resignation, the comments made by Masiulis months later in a failed attempt of an excuse reopened the wound.

Your eyes drift to the political margins from there, but you can only say “no, thanks” and move on because it is not difficult to vote for them, it is impossible.

We are left with the Conservatives who ideologically should be the opposite of a party attracting young and particularly young liberal voters, who should typically be on the opposite end of the scale. Unfortunately there’s nothing to vote for in that direction.

Thus you are left with a simple fact to consider, the fact that you have to mark your cross not where you want to, but where you can. Because once again there’s only one party that has the best balance of sanity and capacity to make something happen.

We’re not looking down on small parties, a part of them definitely contain good, motivated and intelligent people. But when looking at reality we have to make a rational choice that makes you choose so that something terrible is avoided, rather than encouraging political diversification, considering how much real influence your vote will get following the elections.
This is neither healthy, nor just, nor good. It is frightening and sad.

This is not a new problem, it has been well observed already. Even the officially conservative youth (young party members) are far more liberal and modern than their counterparts on the other side. Not to even speak of the old guard which naturally tends to get conservative with age.

This does not, however, mean that the problem should not be spoken of time and time again. The current situation is leading to increasing political monopolization. And it is not a short term problem that can conclude with one election, instead it is long term and inclined to worsen.

Because if liberal youth continue to find themselves more distant to those who should represent them than those who should technically hold cardinally different views, eventually Lithuanian politics will lose not only the left, but also the centre and we will be left with only a strong right. This may sound ok, but historically ends badly.

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