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Thread: Citizenship and Democracy

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Forgive me if I have this all wrong.

    I always understood that Scouts and Guides were about developing better citizens from our young people. I am sure that the Founder had that as his key motivation in youth work.

    So, locally, I have always seen very little community participation by either organisation. Perhaps they did their community involvement on a very low profile.

    Part of what we should be promoting, I think, is citizensip and democracy - a search of TSA website suggests that I am on the right lines. When Kirklees Youth Council, representing 54,000 young people in the local authrity sent out an offer for one of their staff to come and discuss democracy and the youth council with young people, I was happy to accept and invite them to come an talk to Navigators.

    We had a good participatory discussion about politics and its impact on their lives and democracy and giving them a voice. I was pleasantly surprised by the kids' response.

    It turns out that of all the youth groups in the local authority area, including all the Scouts and Guides, only one youth provision responded to the invite. Not so much as a "no thanks" was received from Scouts or Guides. I find that unsurprising but disappointing. A great chance to get involved and develop citizenship and they can't even answer the invite.

    BUT... for me this is symptomatic of society. Is it not rude to ignore an offer of help, or an offer to present especially on a core issue such as citizenship - "The first aim and object of the Scouts movement is to make good citizens."
    I think that you are reading much more in to this than is likely to be there. You are assuming that the failure to reply to an unsolicited email is driven by a disinterest in developing citizenship. It is much more likely that over worked volunteers just prioritised their limited hours in a different way to you.

    If it is rude to fail to reply to emails - all I can say is that most people are very rude all the time! I almost never get any replies to group emails that I send to our group and I bet my DC almost never gets a reply theirs either. Either my leaders are rude and disinterested in what I have to say, or they have better things to do than replying to yet another email from me.

    I think what you are doing sounds great and I know of Scout groups in my district that have run similar activities. But it is a bit churlish to assume the the motivations of others are anything other than positive.

    It may not have been your intention, but it does come across as "Navigators - good, TSA Scouts and Guides - bad."

  2. #17
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    FWIW I'd generally take an unsolicited email like that as having been sent to a large number of people and only requiring of a reply if I wanted to take up the offer unless it specifically asked for a response either way. Maybe I didn't have space in the programme to take it up?

  3. #18
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post

    It may not have been your intention, but it does come across as "Navigators - good, TSA Scouts and Guides - bad."
    Not the intent - I actually said much the same when I was GSL and member of the District Exec.

    Essentially, I guess a lot of it come down to having square pegs in round holes.

    To clarify - I don't expect anyone to respond to round robin mails, unless they are asked to. However, if a mailing is directed individually, I think it is rude not to respond, even if just to say thanks, but no thanks.

    I sometimes expect too much of people. That would be a fair criticism.
    Ewan Scott

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  5. #19
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    Maybe it's the cynic in me, but a lot of these initiatives are ran by organisations with ulterior motives.

    It used to be that it didn't really matter that politics pervaded everything, I don't really know if people either were not aware it was the case, or they knew and didn't care, or they knew and took it into consideration when coming to their own conclusions.

    These days though, while (I think) people are a lot more cynical, they don't seem as able to apply any sort of critical thinking to anything they're being told. They just seem to be perennially offended by everything and anything.

  6. #20
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Maybe it's the cynic in me, but a lot of these initiatives are ran by organisations with ulterior motives.

    It used to be that it didn't really matter that politics pervaded everything, I don't really know if people either were not aware it was the case, or they knew and didn't care, or they knew and took it into consideration when coming to their own conclusions.

    These days though, while (I think) people are a lot more cynical, they don't seem as able to apply any sort of critical thinking to anything they're being told. They just seem to be perennially offended by everything and anything.

    The motivation is clear - to develop a platform that gives young people a voice in local democracy ( I am ambivalent about the wisdom of asking 13 year olds about how the council should allocate its budget, but what I think is not the point). It is also an attempt to develop an awareness, or empowerment in young people that they can make a difference, that their vote will count.

    If people do not think their vote matters, then they don't bother to educate themselves about the strategies and the policies and the impacts that politics can and do have on each and every one of us. If you like, this is trying to motivate young people to think more critically.

    We are in the midst of a constitutional and governmental crisis that would have a very different face had the 30% (or so) who failed to vote in the referendum actually done so. The likelihood of the margin of the outcome may well have been much larger, one way or the other, and thus the uncertainty could have been avoided. In our elections, turn out can be as low as 20% in some places. ( it could have been close as well, but I doubt that the country is that well balanced).

    We, society, needs to do something to bring about change, this is a small thing, I listened to the presentation and the talk without any intervention - yes, I bit my lip and let it run its course. The lady who made the presentation was very good, she gave no bias to the presentation, she was about encouraging participation.

    I think it is a good thing - locally we have Parish Council seats going uncontested, and as a result people get "appointed" and unelected people have a voice at the first level of political democracy (I was asked to take on one of the empty seats and declined due to the motivation of the person who invited me). We should be seeing young people taking up these roles rather than all the retired, wrinkly old guard.
    Ewan Scott

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  8. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    We should be seeing young people taking up these roles rather than all the retired, wrinkly old guard.
    Why? Older people will have more experience, knowledge and wisdom than younger people.

  9. #22
    Senior Member Kastor's Avatar
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    But isn't the problem with getting anyone to vote is that increasingly it doesn't matter whether you vote or not as the same old people get in and do the same old things. Nothing really changes.

    The problem is really not people voting but the selection of candidates that are on offer. Where i am none of the local Council candidates support what I want so why should I vote for any of them. If I do i am validating what they stand for, not what I want.

    I could stand myself but with teh current system I would have no chance of getting in. We need to get away from the issue where the only realistic way to get elected is to follow a party line. That way we may get some new blood with new ideas, who are not career politians only concernced with progressing that career.


    The old addage "It doesn't matter who you vote for the government always gets in" is very true.
    To get more kids we need more adults - are we getting the message yet?

  10. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstretch View Post
    Why? Older people will have more experience, knowledge and wisdom than younger people.
    Hmmm...

    That's not working so well right now...



    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Kastor View Post
    But isn't the problem with getting anyone to vote is that increasingly it doesn't matter whether you vote or not as the same old people get in and do the same old things. Nothing really changes.

    The problem is really not people voting but the selection of candidates that are on offer. Where i am none of the local Council candidates support what I want so why should I vote for any of them. If I do i am validating what they stand for, not what I want.

    I could stand myself but with teh current system I would have no chance of getting in. We need to get away from the issue where the only realistic way to get elected is to follow a party line. That way we may get some new blood with new ideas, who are not career politians only concernced with progressing that career.


    The old addage "It doesn't matter who you vote for the government always gets in" is very true.
    Agree with this.

    I think, encouraging people (young people) to vote would be helped vastly if there were people actually worth voting for.

  11. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstretch View Post
    Why? Older people will have more experience, knowledge and wisdom than younger people.
    I know quite a few older people who would probably push that statement to it's limits!
    James

  12. #25
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragonhhjh View Post
    I know quite a few older people who would probably push that statement to it's limits!
    Well let me just tell you - we most definitely have more experience, knowledge and wisdom, than you young whippersnappers!!!

    Kind regards

    Peter (dob 15.09.53)
    Peter

    Former CSL - 2nd Bracknell


    A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step. Lao Tzu (600 BC - 531 BC)

  13. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    I think, encouraging people (young people) to vote would be helped vastly if there were people actually worth voting for.
    I think you're fortunate where you are located, because unlike in England there actually is.

  14. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    I think you're fortunate where you are located, because unlike in England there actually is.
    While ours aren't perfect, the options you have, in the circumstances, are less than ideal.

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  16. #28
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pstretch View Post
    Why? Older people will have more experience, knowledge and wisdom than younger people.
    Because we oldies are often set in our ways and cannot see new opportunities. Because the future is theirs. Because they need to have the chance to make the rules and make the mistakes and learn so that when they are old and wrinkly they will have moved things on from where we are today. ( I am the first to admit that I get frustrated with councillors and council workers who seem all too keen to put barriers in the way of projects - they take the consequences to the nth degree. )

    And yes, I listen to some of the stuff they discuss and I think, well, there is a very good reason why we don't do that... but if we empower them then we should not then restrain them, we should help them learn.

    There is, I think, a way of giving the benefit of our experience without dictating the direction. When youn people come up with an idea, they can be enthusiastic and want to make it happen without thinking about the consequences ( heck we all do that). So, we ask them to think about what happens next. We encourage them to think about the realities and let them find the solutions.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Well let me just tell you - we most definitely have more experience, knowledge and wisdom, than you young whippersnappers!!!

    Kind regards

    Peter (dob 15.09.53)

    So, let's hang on to every last element of authority and power till our last breath.
    Ewan Scott

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