This column is a perspective on topical issues related to young people. Today's subject reveals why youth matter and why they deserve to be taken seriously.
The importance of participation
For much of 2011, young people have dominated the news. Most of the time in a negative light: demonstrating against something, angry about something else, demanding responses, and trying to air their grievances to those they claimed did not wish to hear them. Perhaps they are fed up with always being on the outside, but what the recent District Council elections proved was that young people, instead of always being reactive to issues, are now pro-active, turning out not only in record numbers to vote, but also to stand as candidates. That we had this record turnout and that we had more young people elected than in the past are positive and wonderful steps in participation. They illustrate very clearly that young people are not willing to simply "talk the talk", but are prepared to "walk the walk".