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Watching the challenges of misogyny, sexism, racism, discrimination, poverty, and unemployment play out on centre stage in the United States has heightened the awareness that the same issues are still alive and well in our own country. The impact that a prime minister or president can have on the issues we care about is more than immense.
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We decided early on that, while we would of course ensure we had messaging towards youth across the country, and support young campaigners in constituencies nationwide, our focus had to be tailored to where we could be most effective. We decided to focus our efforts organizing constituencies with campuses.
The challenge isn't simply to get youth to vote. First, you have to inspire youth about the act of voting itself. There's no point in getting youth to vote if it's an activity they really would rather not be doing; that won't form a lifelong habit of voting. You have to first sell the benefits of voting before you can push youth to the polls.
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The Liberals led by Trudeau have a lot work ahead of them, but their surprising victory may not be the upset we all thought it was. When you combine a growing need for change with a fresh, newer face, who brings a positive, unifying and consistent message, we can see how the red wave momentum was waiting for us. Perhaps many of us did not see it because this election fired up many negative emotions and divisiveness. However, most Canadians saw right through that. The people of Canada were the one who lit the fire and fanned the flames across the country on election night.
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Citizens tend to blame our leaders for the kind of government we have. We ought to look in the mirror instead. Getting engaged every four to five years for six to eight weeks is not what it means to be a citizen.
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For nine years, we have lived under a Harper government -- the only government most of my generation has ever known. During this time, our leaders have ignored youth unemployment, climate change, and student debt. I almost didn't vote in the last election because I figured it wouldn't make a difference. I feel entirely different this time around.
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Young people vote at much lower rates than older Canadians. In the 2011 federal election, only 41 per cent of Canadians under 30 voted. However, when it comes to rates of participation in political and civic life beyond voting, younger Canadians' participation rate is 11 percentage points higher, on average, than their older counterparts across 18 forms of participation.
Canadian youth haven't given up on politics. They discuss it on social media, debating with their friends and family online about policy implementation and other issues. They have given up on expressing their opinions, not between themselves, but to the politicians because often times this dialogue is a one-way street.
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Under the pilot project by Election Canada, people have been casting ballots at more than three dozen campuses across the country.
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The Conservative Party, for one, is taking shots at "lefties" on campuses and touting its ISIS airstrikes as a recruitment tactic.
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Alberta municipalities are meeting to discuss the issue.
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The Producers are there to make sure that all the needs of every part of the show are met. If our stage is the City of Toronto, the Producers are our City Councillors. These are the individuals, who are chosen by you to be your voice and ensure your needs are met. They vow to work tirelessly to give you the opportunity to do your very best on the City of Toronto stage.
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With the election a mere two weeks away, all candidates have a real opportunity to improve their standing by focusing on youth voters. When the survey was conducted, two out of three of the youth voters polled, stated they were very likely or definitely voting in the upcoming election with public transit, the economy and youth unemployment being the issues that are most important to them.
Naturally, candidates draft campaign platforms to suit likely voters. My concern lies in the potential effect of removing these groups from the conversation altogether. If young people do not see their views, priorities or issues emerging in campaign conversation, this will add a significant barrier to the already daunting task of engaging youth participation.