Have Politicians Succeeded In Earning Respect Among The Youth In Sri Lanka? Problems And Dynamics
Sri Lanka has been practising representative democracy in which people receive an opportunity to elect the candidates nominated by registered political parties for parliament. In principle, these candidates represent the wishes of the voters. But recent experiences have proven that elected politicians are behaving against the mandate given by voters and also democratic principles, as a result of which there are many allegations against their improper behaviour. This paper attempts to ascertain the attitudes of youth towards politicians of the country. The trust of the voters in general, and youth in particular, is very vital for a healthy democratic system of a country. The past experiences provide concrete examples which explain the reaction of young people towards the failings of the political system of the country. The discussion will be based on a field study conducted by the author. The findings of the study show that the youth covered in the study are not satisfied with the behaviour of politicians. Their trust in politics is weakening steadily. There is a significant gap between the expectations of youth and practices of the politicians. According to sociological theories on political violence, such a context can lead to conflicts in society. Young persons are not satisfied with politicians, political parties and the political process of the country. They feel that politicians do not do justice to their positions since they take to politics as a “means to earn an income”. However, the positive aspect of youth perception is that they still have a hope of creating "good" democracy in the country through socially acceptable democratic means.