Young people in St Andrews are beginning to lose their faith in political apathy after yet another democratic election proves a success. Students who stayed home in their droves during Campaign Week, bemoaning the inadequacies of Western democracy, are now taking to the streets to extol the virtues of representative government. Many students, completely surprised by the efficacy of democratic elections in actually producing a legitimate single candidate, are having to abandon even their most cherished apathetic views.
‘I’ve always been apathetic about politics’ said 2nd year economics student Ellen Burley, solemnly removing a ‘Vote for Charlotte’ baseball cap, ‘it’s always seemed like apathy had the most to offer young people, you know?’ But as we examine the fallout from last month’s election, it seems the zeitgeist is changing; students like Burley are now finding themselves with all their needs being met and all their interests being represented.
3rd year Huw McLaughlin is site administrator for a blog called ‘WESTERN DEMOCRACY IS A CAPITALIST SHAM!!!’, but his disillusionment with the electoral system is being slowly replaced by optimism. ‘It’s terrible’ says McLaughlin, blowing his nose with a CPGB pamphlet, ‘young people these days literally have nothing whatsoever to complain about’. When asked about his plans for the future, McLaughlin’s eyes glazed over as he ruefully replied: ‘Bollocks, I don’t know. I guess I’ll just have to form some opinions, won’t I? I’ve usually been able to get out of discussions about current affairs by pretending to be a disillusioned, disenfranchised youth.’ The Sinner reporter had to leave the room at this point, as McLaughlin began wildly stuffing pages from the Guardian’s G2 magazine into his mouth.
As millennials become more and more disenchanted with political apathy, the future of democracy seems increasingly secure. Apathetic people must face the hard fact: cynicism about politics simply can’t compete with a fully functioning and satisfactory democratic system. ‘I used to be apathetic’ chuckles The Saint’s political editor David Fleak, ‘but then I reflected on my cushy middle-class upbringing and realised that participatory democracy is actually pretty good – I can’t get enough of it! I’m voting UKIP! Hahaha!’
While most students have gleefully embraced the conventions of Western democracy and its attendant neoliberal policies, some have found their apathetic loyalties hard to jettison entirely. Clive McCormack is a first generation student from County Durham; his family has been disenchanted for several hundred years. ‘It’s been a difficult few months’ sighs McCormack, ‘apathy no longer has any currency in this political climate. Everyone’s being represented by the existing parties and the future is depressingly bright.’