Democracy has existed since ancient times, but our current electoral method is not what it once was. Voting has not always been a common right. Many voices went unheard, many opinions once sat discarded, and a bitter taste lingered in the mouths of those deemed unworthy to impact the politics of their own country.
Today, our voting rights know equality. People are neither silenced nor censored, yet many of us still choose not to exercise our voting freedoms.
Those in our parents’ generation tend to wonder why. The answer? Because a lot of you have questions of your own that often go unaddressed, like why it’s important to vote, what votes can do to change anything, and why voting is worth caring about.
They’re all valid concerns, but they’re usually the ones that prevent young people from voting.
And this has to end.
I know what you’re thinking. “Uh, so what’s with the totally misleading article title?”
Great question. You shouldn’t vote for one very good reason:
“There are many things that become increasingly intimidating as we grow older, but the best way to deal with them is to be informed.”
Without getting into numbers, it is crucial that young voices be heard. It is your country just as much as anyone else’s, and you must tell your government what it can (and should) do for you.
There are many things that become increasingly intimidating as we grow older, but the best way to deal with them is to be informed. At seventeen, I embarrassingly knew nothing about the government’s role in my standard of living, but I chose to become informed sooner rather than later. I found an urgency in the voices of our youth, and now I hope to transmit the same message to anyone old enough to vote:
Learn about what each party is proposing and endorsing, and think about how these factors will come into play. No age bracket is more important than the next, but age does play a role in relevancy. For instance, what does an employed engineer care about student benefits and tuition? Similarly, how important are small business laws to a music student? To show our government that student-driven issues are equally worthy of their efforts as improving labour laws, we must also show them that our numbers add up to a voice loud enough to demand the changes that we want to see. We must to speak up for what matters to us students—we’re a demographic with lots to say, and we need to say it.
Canada is a beautiful country full of kind people, but we do have our issues. And because these matters are going to fall into post-secondary students’ realm of responsibility very soon, it is now that we must focus our thoughts on what matter.
The environment. Foreign policy. Social issues. Criminal law. No matter the issue, it is now that your concerns should be addressed, and it is you who can demand change where you believe it needs to happen. You can get a clearer idea of where you stand right here. And if you’re like most Canadian youth, you’ll want to go here so you can make the most strategic vote you possibly can.
If you’re still not keen on putting in your vote on the 19th, consider this: by voting, we’re not only impacting the immediate future, but we’re setting up the building blocks for generations for come. We can help draft our country’s social agenda, change the tired ways of the past, and help move things along in the name of progress. Furthermore, our youth could make up a huge percentage of the country’s vote—if they voted, of course.
“Canada is a beautiful country full of kind people, but we do have our issues. And because these matters are going to fall into post-secondary students’ realm of responsibility very soon, it is now that we must focus our thoughts on what matter.”
You deserve to be heard and to teach politicians that our needs are just as important as any other voting bloc’s. We are significant, and now is the time to show our officials the extent to which this is true.
Nobody likes to be silenced. Don’t be the one to silence yourself. If you put in your vote, you’ll have played a part—no matter how small you may think it is—in Canada’s development. That’s something to be proud of.
On Monday, October 19th, I hope more than anything that the majority of us will get out there, cast our votes, and make a difference in our nation.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.