Freitag, 16. Juli 2010

German engagement!!

It was not hard to find this video clip when I searched on youtube. It was one of the first results on the catchword " Junge Wähler" (young voters).
Dr. Elke Leonhard is speaking, a German politician who was member of the Deutsche Bundestag until 2005. In her 40seconds speech she wants to ask young people to vote on September 27th, 2009. It seems so ridiculous for us to see her saying "Wichtig ist, dass Sie zur Wahl gehen[...]" (it is important that you go voting), which is the only statement she indicates in this speech. A while ago, I uploaded the costly US American video clip where celebrities encourage young people to go voting. This video clip had such an appealing character and pointed out how important it is to vote, especially for young people. Comparing now this video clip to Dr. Leonhard's video clip, which has basically the same appeal, it is only ridiculous. This clip is so poor regarding the "making-of" and the basic idea behind it. Of course, I found some other clips, too, but I chose the one on top of the list.
In my opinion, it somehow reflects how many young people think about our German political system and our conservative Chancellor. Mostly young people wish to have some kind of the Obama-hype in Germany,too. They see how Obama gained so many young people in his election campaign and they want to be part of this enthusiastic hype. But in Germany there is no hype. Politics seem to be very dull so that most young people cannot identify with it. Dr. Leonhard's attempt to encourage the people to go voting does not really work out, I GUESS!

German campaigns for young voters

It doesn't make any difference whether we roam in the United States or in Germany. The young people's apathy to vote is still a big problem. With each Bundestagswahl the voter participation of the younger generation decreases. Different campaigns tried to encourage young people to vote on September 27th in 2009. With the slogan "Du entscheidest!" (You decide!) the German broadcast programme RTL and McDonald in Germany initiated an overall-party campaign. Their aim: for young people to call attention to join the Bundestagswahl. The slogan "Du entscheidest!" should be visible on each McDonald tablet in order to make the young McDonald consumers vote. With this campaign about 2,58 Mio McDonald guests should be reached. RTL as the information pool NO. 1 for young people in German television also plays a big role. RTL also wants to make young people vote on September 27th in 2009 by broadcasting news with current topics, so that young people get informed about them.
With the help of this campaign, members of the Bundestag directly apply to young people: Every voice counts!!

Montag, 12. Juli 2010

Facebook for young voters

The video from our last post somehow indicated what America does in order to encourage young people to vote. Media plays a big role in many young people's lives. New media, such as television and computer technics are preferred by most young people, rather than by older people. Their everyday life focuses upon these mediums. Many young people have social networks, such as facebook or MySpace. This can be seen as a new possibility to reach young people's interest in politics: social networks which normally allow people to meet friends, to chat about parties or to interchange photos from last Saturday's bar-hopping. Today, young people should be attracted via facebook and co. to a greater awareness towards politics. During the last American presidential election, Barack Obama found many supporters on facebook. There was for example a young politically interested student called Farouk Olu Aregbe from the University at Missouri at Columbia who created a group called "One Million Strong for Barack". His group "had 100 members in the first hour. In less than five days, 10,000. By the third week, nearly 200,000[members]".
Obama's supporters post photographs of him, chat with other supporters about their favourite quotes of their candidate. One can see a "real enthusiasm for Obama's candidacy among young people", more than for any other candidate.
It is a great success to give the "Web Generation's" private lifestyle some political character.

Dienstag, 29. Juni 2010

Don't vote!!

With the help of this video clip celebrities, like Leonardo DiCaprio, Eva Longoria, Ashton Kutcher and co, want to encourage American youth to register to vote in the presidential election in 2008! Young people , much more than elder people, feel somehow connected to young celebrities-actors, actresses, singers- in the way that they see them as their rolemodels. It is a worldwide phenomenon. Most young people in America and in Germany( and in other countries) watch Leonardo DiCaprio movies or listen to the music of will i. am; they watch th great success and the great career of these famous people. As they are fans of them, many youngsters celebrate their rolemodels- they hang up posters on their walls, look for similar clothes and styles, go to concerts or events where they look forward to seeing their sweethearts (in some cases =) ). Now, watching this video clip, in which a multiplicity of actors and singers animate the youth to vote, the young people feel in a way connected to their rolemodels. They are directly invited by them to join the election. And this is the goal of the campaign- it succeeds!!

Montag, 28. Juni 2010

Why do most young people don't know who to vote for?

"There's a disease affecting young voters.
It's name? Apathy!" (
But how come?
There are various reasons for the apathy of young voters, both in America and in Germany. The most determining reason is probably that the younger generation of voters don't think that politicians put through what they always predict. Therefore they can't really identify with one single party. Once they feel sympathy for a political party and its manifesto, they will be disappointed because in the end the party is not able to get their aims through. Young voters, having not much know-how about voting, lose trust in politics as they feel not being taken seriously by politicians.
In American, for example, the number of young voters during the last presidential election had fallen to 32%, comparing to the year 1972, which was the first year that people aged 18 and over could vote. In this year there was an attendance of 50% of young voters.
In Germany it is just as in America: the senior generation dominates politics. Comparing the attendance in Germany, in the Federal State of Baden- Württemberg, in 1980 and in 2009, it is striking that the "Bundestagswahl" in 1980 had nearly the same number of voters- old age and low age- both around 25%. In year 2009 young voter's apathy was about 83%. (
Why are these young people so peevish?
Perhaps we already have an answer to this question: Our political system is too far away from our own living environment- it just seems like something very abstract to many young voters.

Mittwoch, 16. Juni 2010

Introduction: Young Voters

It is a fact to say that today there are many young people who are not willing to vote.
We are students at the University of Dortmund who see the German youngster's refusal of voting and who are now questioning if this problem is transferable to the American young voters, as well.
It seems, as if many young people cannot really identify with the proposals of political parties.
The question is whether the political system is responsible for that, or the change of the youngster's attitude towards politics in our society. Nowadays, different from what was the situation like in the past, politicians or political parties in general try to reach young people through different campaigns in order to arouse their interest to vote. In our blog we want to elaborate the relation between American and German young people referring to their attendance to vote.