(Image: Sébastien Thibault)

THE system’s broken. Nothing changes. All politicians are the same. Why vote? It’s a popular refrain, particularly among the young. People feel cut off from the political process and unrepresented by the political elite. Just 16 per cent of Britons say they trust politicians – that’s even worse than bankers. “We’re living through a crisis of mainstream politics,” says Carl Miller at London-based think tank Demos.

Voter turnout has been steadily declining in established democracies in Europe, Latin America and the US for the past few decades. Turnout for the last three general elections in the UK, for example, has been the lowest since the 1940s. Comedian-turned-activist Russell Brand calls for revolution: “I feel it is a far more potent political act to completely renounce the current paradigm.” With plenty of exposure in mainstream media, his message is proving seductive.

What …

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