The importance of the youth vote

Less than 40 per cent of young voters exercised their right in 2011

Historically, the youth vote, representing those aged 18-24, has had the lowest turnout of any other age group.

In 2011, only 38.8 per cent of young voters took advantage of our democratic system and voted. Considering this demographic has the most to not only gain but also lose by the result on election day, it shocking how low the turnout is. The 18-24-year-olds will have to live with the triumphs or the mistakes of our government.

So why don’t we see these young people taking advantage of the right we have as Canadians and voting?

Most have a negative attitude toward politics. They might have the knowledge to make a decision about who to vote for but really don’t want to. Some have a lack of knowledge and are apathetic, while others don’t have a personal influence to encourage them to participate. And some don’t have the knowledge to make a decision on who to vote for.

Why should they vote? I think youth should vote because it’s not only our civic responsibility but also because our vote counts. Could you imagine if every single youth voter got out to the polls and voted? It would be monstrumental! The nation would be rocked by these young people taking a stand – on how their tax dollars are spent, who represents them, and how our country is ultimately run. We need to end apathy, stop complaining, and do something to make a positive change.

Victoria McMillan