Over the course of many political conversations, I have heard the same series of disheartening opinions expressed by some of my peers. Those are, “Voting does not affect me,” and “My vote does not count.”
Your vote does matter; voting affects us all and our concerns and issues as young adults deserve to be acknowledged.
The resounding chorus of criticism and cynicism from young Canadians can at times be deafening and prevent others from taking an interest in politics at all.
But the more vocal we are and the more we vote, the more likely political parties are to cater their policies towards us.
Canada’s Pension Plan is certainly an important issue, but would politicians be focusing on it nearly as much if the youth voted in as large a number as the elderly? We all love our grandparents, but considering we will be the ones dealing with the decisions made by the recent government for years to come, we ought to play a larger role in deciding what the Canada of tomorrow will look like.
It is in our best interests to think long term when it comes to policy and make things easier for ourselves in the future. We need to make our voices heard, and doing so has never been easier.
Information regarding party policy and activity in Parliament has never been as attainable as it is now. If a particular issue piques your interest, a simple Google search will help you find out how each party stands on that issue fairly quickly.
Through social media you can even direct your inquiries to politicians themselves. The majority of MPs are on Twitter and Facebook, so why are we not bringing the noise? The youth is a demographic worth listening to; we just need to prove it to them.
As Liberal MP Bob Rae said over a pint at Louis’ on April 4, if we as students do not get involved, we will not see the changes we want in Canadian politics. Through Facebook and Twitter, which are updated constantly by MPs and media, everything the parties are up to is covered minute by minute. We need to utilize the tools we already actively employ and let government know that we are paying attention. The ballot box is but one way of challenging Canadian politicians to listen to our demands.
In order for the apprehension some Canadian youth feel toward politics to be dispelled, the objectives and values of our generation first need to be communicated — otherwise we will not see any sort of reform specific to our generation for some time to come.