Youth vote still up in the air - Macleans.ca
 

Youth vote still up in the air

Vote mobs could bring them out, but summer could keep them in


 

The question on everyone’s mind going into Monday’s federal election day is just how much recent attempts to galvanize young Canadians will translate into votes on polling day.
It’s no secret that youth participation is a high priority in this election with vote mobs, youth debates, special ballots and more occurring in ridings across the country.

Late last week, a Calgary man rented a bus to drive young voters to the Easter weekend advance polls. Students in Victoria also organized shuttles to local polling stations last weekend.

“We are excited there is so much energy around this election. This weekend we will translate that energy into votes,” Victoria organizer James Coccola said in a press release.

But, according to the Calgary Herald, efforts in the Alberta city went largely unnoticed. Only six students took advantage of Michael Wilson’s offer to provide them with transportation to polling stations. Wilson spent $800 to rent the bus.

The Herald article hypothesizes that exams, the long weekend, end of the academic year or a poorly organized event could have been to blame for low turnout for Wilson’s shuttle bus. But in reality most of these reasons will remain on May 2, leading me to believe that things may not change between the advance polls and Election Day proper.

But recent research by the Canadian University Press has shown how much an impact young people can have on the outcome of almost every riding in the country if they come out to vote. That kind of awareness can quickly drive voter participation. It amounts to hope. Hope that their voice may actually be heard — the same kind of hope that led to Obama’s historic victory three years ago.

While the country saw a record turnout in the advance polls this weekend, with over two million Canadians voting, we won’t know for sure if that turnout is a trend indicative of increasing voter involvement or if the holiday weekend made it easier for Canadians to cast their ballots.

I, for one, hope it’s the former. Young people have a right to vote, a strong voice, and the opportunity to make a difference. They should seize it.


 

Youth vote still up in the air

  1. My kids said they are voting for jobs… and that means Harper.

    • Canada has lost jobs under Harper’s tenure and many high paying technical jobs have been replaced with service industry low paying entry level positions. So you want your kids to flip burgers for a decade while we sort this out?

  2. Here’s the problem with the youth vote: Unlike other organizations, which vote with a unified voice, the youth vote is like a herd of cats. The politic parties, therefore, have no motivation to respond to the common demands of the youth, since they know that failure to address these demands will not result in a loss of a vote.

    A more logical approach for the youth vote would be to say that “We will all vote for the first party that increases support for University Education, and if none of the parties step up to the bat, we’re all going to vote for the Rhinoceros party.”

  3. At this point, I’m voting for change.

    Harper’s trying to hold the status quo, (Contempt of parliament, reckless spending, developing and deploying military power, and limiting options for women’s health at home and abroad.)He asks voters to place highest value on the almighty buck. I think we need to change. But Ignatieff is trying to repeat the past. That’s not change.

    The only party offering real change is the NDP. They may not be experienced at running government, and they may make some mistakes, but at least they’ll be working to take the country in a more positive direction than cold-hearted and steel-eyed materialism. The direction that the NDP offers is a government which is motivated by a desire to diminish it’s citizens suffering from poverty and inadequate medical services, to reduce harm to the environment, to open new, eco-friendly industries that create jobs. If the NDP takes the helm, government mandate will return to a core Canadian political precept. Government is servant to the well-being of the people.

  4. The NDP have never held power in the country and their policies have no basis in reality. While the NDP learns the ropes of governing this country and deals with the implementation of their impossible policies it will slow our economy and parliament to a snails crawl. I don’t agree with Harper’s leadership style but sometimes it is better to side with the devil you know… also, the impact of a cap and trade system is a gigantic question mark in the NDP policy that really scares me. I voted NDP last time because I was okay with them being the opposition. It would have to be a frosty day in Hell that I would ever want them to lead our country.

  5. Harper is not protecting jobs. Harper is protecting his corporate friends.