Not surprisingly, students represent the lowest per cent of voters. According to Statistics Canada, only 50 per cent of people age 18-24 voted in 2011.
Laurier Brantford students expressed their concerns about the lack of attention and drive their peers have towards voting by discussing some possible reasons why students decide not to vote, and the importance of voting.
Second year student Stephanie Alexander is an active voter who wants students to know that their votes are taken seriously.
Alexander believes that voting is a right that everyone is entitled to, and one that should be taken advantage of.
She believes that every vote matters, even though students may feel like they are trying to have a say in something that is too big to make a difference.
“The candidates who are running in the election directly reflect what we want, and what we need. The people that are voted into power will be representing us, and we should care about who has the right, and the authority, to do that,” said Alexander.
Alexander explained that people tend to complain about politicians and those in power, but continue to have no say come election time.
She thinks that if the candidates spent more time trying to create personal connections with the students, more students would be willing to vote. Also, if the candidates advertised more on campus, the students would be reminded of the election and know more about whom they are voting for.
Second year student Dominic Audette believes that this election could be the most important election in Canadian history due to the fact that this could be the last election that follows the first-past-the-post method.
“That means something. That’s the end of what is essentially an undemocratic system,” said Audette.
Audette explained that students are not fully aware of the effects that the government has on their everyday life, and that by taking the time to vote, students could have a say in those effects.
“I think it’s a failure to understand that every single part of your life is political, every decision you make. The shampoo you buy in the morning has to pass a regulation, the food you buy at the grocery store has to pass a regulation, the student debt that you’re going to graduate with is based entirely on government policy,” explained Audette.
Audette explained that students are reluctant to vote because they believe that the system overlooks the votes that were not a part of the winning party. He believes he has a responsibility to make sure his peers vote.
“To act like your life is so divorced from the reality that the rest of the country is living is silly to say the least and condescending to say the worst,” said Audette.
Emilee Kloostra is a second year student who has a real passion for politics.
Her interest in politics started from the time she was in elementary school, and by the time she reached high school she excelled in her civics class, claiming to know, “more about politics than the teacher.”
Kloostra explains that one of the reasons students are uninterested in voting is due to a lack of knowledge on the voting process.
“Candidates aren’t really going out of their way to explain to young voters how to vote, what to vote on,” said Kloostra.
Kloostra believes that by not voting, students are giving up the right to complain about the government.
“You didn’t have a say in it [the election] when there was time, so there is no sense in complaining about something you could have been apart of that you chose not to be apart of,” explained Kloostra.
Kloostra is frustration with those who do not vote, and thinks this should be important to people and they should take it seriously.
“Every student here is paying for tuition, so why wouldn’t you want to vote for someone who is going to do something for your debt one day?” said Kloostra.
As a student living in Brantford for the next four years Kloostra realizes that whoever wins this riding will affect the lives of all students.
“The idea that you can live your life free of politics is outrageous, but that’s how people seem to live,” said Kloostra.
Kloostra intends to encourage all her friends and classmates to vote in the upcoming election.