John Lennon said that before Elvis, there was nothing.
Meaning, in terms of popular music, Presley shook things up and gave teenagers a much-welcomed break from the music their parents loved, and they hated.
Today’s main political parties…Conservatives, Liberals and the New Democratic Party in Canada…Democrats and Republicans south of the border…are, to today’s young adults, their parent’s or grandparent’s parties.
Stephen Harper’s conservatives get re-elected by catering to big business and the well-off, promising to maintain their levels of prosperity.
If you’re 27 and still living with your parents, you can’t relate. Why vote? To quote The Who, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
Bill Clinton was the rock and roll president though, during his terms, the radio industry was nearly ruined by the government’s decision to deregulate the industry, setting the stage for media conglomerates, bottom-line decision making and cookie cutter radio stations.
Barack Obama was another rock star president. A change was gonna come, to steal a line from that civil rights anthem from Sam Cooke.
And change did come, much of it positive, but as bloggers like Bob Lefsetz have said many times, the game is rigged. Obama’s hands are tied. Corporate interests prevail and big money still speaks the loudest.
Is there an Elvis on the political horizon?
We desperately want younger voters to, well, vote. They don’t and parties get in with less than 50% of the vote…somtimes as low as 39%…and the other 60% feel powerless.
So the older folks make the same choices because, as attack ads warn, the other parties want to tax you more, take your money away and give it to the poor.
A.ka., your children, and anyone else who hasn’t figured out how to work the system. Or, who can’t afford college or university and even if they can, will be paying off those debts for decades.
I wouldn’t call myself an NDP supporter but I grew up in Scarborough, then a suburb of Toronto and our representative was Stephen Lewis. Everything I wished a politican to be, and still do. Maybe he spoiled me. Inspiring, motivated to help his constituents any way he could, and Lewis went on to become a human rights ambassador on a global scale.
They don’t make ’em like that anymore.
He wasn’t Elvis, but he made an impact and we need someone of Lewis’s calibre to get young Canadians to the polls.
The current crop is the political equivalent of “your parent’s music.”