The federal election is just around the corner, the issue of youth voting however has been spread across the media in Canada. Why aren’t the youth voting? What will make them change? How important is it for the youth to vote? And of course does my vote really matter?
The answer to all these questions is not that simple. In the last election only 1/3 of all eligble youth votes were casted. In total that means 2/3 of Canadians within the youth bracket did not vote. Why aren’t they voting? Well most youth think that their vote doesn’t matter and/or they don’t really care about politics. Truth is their vote does matter. Tuition keeps rising among university and college students across this country. Job outlook within this country looks bleak and honestly why should students care? If more students started to vote in this country, politicians would listen to what they have to say. Students would be the voice of the future, things that would be most important to them, the outlook of Canada would be what politicians would talk about. As the youth vote is gaining momentum, students say well my vote doesn’t matter anyway. Well actually it does. Every vote matters in this election, which could end up changing the future of Canada.
A lot of people don’t know that political parties are funded by corporations, like for example the CCCE (Canadian Council of Chief Executives). Although there is a limit, major political parties are influenced by who their backers are. A lot of students do not know this and think this will not affect their lives. But in reality is does. Whichever political party is in power controls the outlook on Canada, on jobs, on lives, on education and knowing who or what are backing them can give you some insight on what they care about most.
I have international students in my tutorial, as I am a teaching assistant. They currently pay $20,000 a year to be in university in Canada, after a four year degree, they graduate with $80,000 in debt. If the students continue not to care, tuition will continue to go higher and higher till we reach what international students are paying. I can’t imagine that day, especially when I was in university my tuition was set at $4,900 and that was in 2008 and now it’s at $8,000 a year. With students coming out of university and college with on average $27,000 in debt, there needs to be a change.
Finally, do you have an OSAP loan? Well guess what, the provincial and federal government make money off of those loans, and in the States a woman by the name Elizabeth Warren ousted this issue. “Between the year 2007-2012, the American Government made $66 billion off of interest from student loans.” In Canada, the statistics are unknown but knowing that tuition this year is $8,000 (per school year) in Ontario and with payback of the loan being 15 years in length, you better bet that they make money off of students. So vote, not because it is your civic duty but to change the future, to change this country so that education can be affordable, the job outlook can be better and that youth do matter.
As Rick Mercer said it best
“As far as any of the political parties are concerned you might as well all be dead (the youth). In fact in Quebec for example, the dead have a higher voter turnout. It is the conventional wisdom of all major political parties that young people will not vote, and the parties they like it that way. It is why your tuition keeps going up. So please if you are in between the age of 18 and 25 and you want to scare the hell out of the people that run this country, this time around, do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day and do what young people all over the world are dying to do. Vote!”