Voting almost seems like a word young adult shouldn’t ever say; almost like He Who Must Not Be Named but without all the witches, wizards, and of course, Dobby. Young adults aren’t expected to care or even think about expressing their opinions on how they are governed, and we really should care. We live in a time where many of us are constantly trying to improve ourselves through exercise, eating healthy, and maintaining healthy relationships, but we are also living in a time where young adults are getting more involved in issues they care about: caring for the environment, LGQTB rights, gender equality, marijuana legalization, worldwide democratic change, challenging police brutality….*cough* Kony 2012 *cough*. If we are a generation that is so concerned and involved in making a change in this world, why can’t we do one of the easiest things that can make a difference, not only in our own lives, but on a local, provincial, national and international level.
I know what you’re going to say, “but David, politicians don’t care about the issues I care about”. That may be true, but politicians are trying to get elected so they have a job next term and since young adults make up such a small percentage of voters that our issues don’t carry enough weight to talk about. If young adults went out to vote then the politicians would start changing their platforms to better cater the issues that we care about.
So what are your voting options?
Voice your opinion, be heard, let your governments know what matters to young adults
2. Spoil your vote
Spoiling a ballot has recently become a popular trend, especially in the past provincial election. To spoil a ballot, the voter does everything to the ballot except choosing one candidate (crossing off more than one candidate, not crossing off any candidates, ranking the candidates in order of preference, etc..). When a voter does this, no candidate receives a vote, but at the end of the election all the spoiled ballots get tallied up and kept for records. The idea behind spoiling a ballot is to send a message to politicians that the voters are willing to vote, but none of the issues in the election appealed to the voter. The problem with spoiling your ballot is that now a government gets elected that only a minority of the voters wanted.
3. Not Voting
Not voting is probably the most popular voting option, but nothing happens by doing this, the one party you despise has of course been elected, and all the politicians don’t know that the people want a change in our politics. Rather than not having to get up out of bed after watching every episode of Friends on Netflix, take a half hour break, stretch your legs a bit, walk over to the voting station and go vote, next thing you know you’ll be right back in bed already watching the 3rd season of Breaking Bad – again.
Convinced? Well if you have just decided to become a voter, you missed your chance to vote in the municipal elections in October, but don’t be discouraged, you are not to late!
Luckily for you Brock students will be heading to the polls from February 10th -12th to vote for the BUSU executive team that represents students at the university, municipal, provincial, and federal levels. These are the student leaders that put together O-Week, Homecoming, the U-Pass, and the Health Plan and represent you in front of the University Administration. On the national level, Canada will be going to the polls on October 19th 2015 for the next federal election.
In the end, this is all personal opinion, you have the right to vote, you also have the right to not vote. If you’re okay with how things are, I’m happy for you! But if you are like me and have a few things that could make this world or Brock just a little better, I urge you to go out, voice your options, and most importantly vote!