At a certain point in our lives, we have all come across the word ‘democracy’ and learnt its definition for an exam or other purposes. Democracy is a form of government which gives a voice to the people to the extent that if we take Malta as an example, the Maltese people get to elect the people who they want to represent them in Parliament. With that being said, it is no news that democracy’s worst enemy is apathy.
Unfortunately, this apathy is not only found amongst adults, but it is growing upon youths as well. This can be clearly seen by the recent poor turnout in the KSU Presidential Election which was that of 20%. Moreover, in October of last year, KSU organised a silent vigil in memory of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was murdered on October 2017, yet despite the great publicity that the student organisation had put into it, only a couple of students turned up, a great set back to youth activism. Apart from this, there is also the fact that only a small group of lecturers turned up to the event, leading to the question of whether students have such apathy because they see the people that should lead by example as being unresponsive themselves.
Nonetheless, we students are the future of tomorrow, eventually, the island will fall onto our hands and we must start voicing our opinions from our student days and stand up for what we believe in, after all that is the whole point of having a democracy. If we bow our heads to everything, without questioning certain decisions, this could lead to serious problems. Power blinds people, and without having a counter to fight off certain resolutions that might not be in the people’s interest, our country could easily stop being a democracy.
Youth activism does not necessarily mean that one has to make public speeches. There are many ways of how one can show his interest in youth activism – by attending protests, voting in elections, voicing one’s opinions through writing, and much more. Moreover, there are many student organisations in which one can choose to enrol himself in throughout the different levels of education. And most of all, let us not let certain things slide, and let us speak our minds through the simplest of activities.
Written by: Deborah Spiteri