'You get the politicians you deserve': Obama reminds voters that elections have consequences
US President Barack Obama holds a press conference following the conclusion of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Laos on September 8, 2016 (AFP Photo/Saul Loeb)

Elections have consequences and you have no one to blame but yourself, according to former President Barack Obama.

Laying down some cold hard truth, Obama told an audience in Milan, Italy Tuesday that unless they participate in democracy “you get the politicians you deserve.”

“People have a tendency to blame politicians when things don't work, but as I always tell people, you get the politicians you deserve,” Obama explained while the audience applauded. “And if you don't vote and you don't pay attention, you'll get policies that don't reflect your interest.”

Obama also told the audience that often times a mistake activists make "is not engaging people once they get attention."

Obama was in Italy to deliver a speech on food insecurity, food waste and the impact our food has on pollution and climate change.

"To make the big change we need to cut waste at home first," Obama told the audience. But he also admitted the privilege that surrounds focusing on climate change.

"Being worried about climate change is a luxury because people have to worry about feeding their family," Obama explained. "You have to be secure on what to eat before worrying about the planet."

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