Getting young people involved in the political process should be a top priority in today’s society, according to Liberal Member of Parliament Justin Trudeau.
“This is part of what I’ve been doing since I’ve been elected: getting out and talking to as many young people as I can,” Trudeau said to a group of students at Browsers on Sept. 28.
Trudeau, the eldest child of former prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, currently serves as the opposition critic for youth and is a former high school teacher. Because of this experience, youth involvement is something very close to him.
“My biggest hope is to get more and more young people to realize their strength,” stressed Trudeau. “Unfortunately that connection isn’t there between young people and politics.”
He pointed out that this lack of connection was not because youth aren’t involved but rather because young people today are the most informed generation and they are frustrated that they don’t get listened to.
“Unfortunately we get into a bit of a vicious circle where young people don’t come out to vote,” explained Trudeau, “so politicians don’t reach out to young people, so young people are even less likely to come out to vote. Somewhere, someone has to break that cycle.”
Trudeau pointed out that this was the reason that Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff went on a bus tour this summer taking questions on any subject in an effort to let people have their voice heard and to get involved.
Like his party leader, Trudeau took questions from U of S students on all topics including immigration, climate change, the long-gun registry and other rural issues.
image: Pete Yee