What did young voters get out of the 2021 elections? That our leaders need to work together

Younger voters did not have an election campaign full of candidates addressing their deepest concerns, but they nevertheless hope that their representatives in this next minority deal will get to work collaborating on the toughest issues they face.

From climate change and the need to create large-scale green jobs to affordable housing and accessible mental health services, younger Canadians say they want to move beyond platitudes and partisan disputes and seek viable solutions, something that a Parliament requiring a broader consensus could help to achieve.

“We really hope that politicians, as they form this new government, will begin to cooperate,” said Camellia Wong of the youth advocacy group Future Majority. “We saw a lot of toxicity happen in this election, there were a lot of fights between the parties and we really want to make sure that the parties refocus their priorities and make sure they are addressing the issues that concern young Canadians. . “

Addressing Canada’s contribution to global warming received some boost in the campaign, young climate activists said, as all parties now agree on the need for a carbon price and liberals made a vague promise to eliminate subsidies. to oil and gas by 2023. that the NDP could toughen up to secure its support.

“I am not a political expert, but I feel that the minority government can allow us as a climate movement and as youth climate strikers to choose the areas that were best from the different platforms,” said Allie Rougeot, organizer in Toronto.

“You know, it takes the best of the Liberals and the best of the Bloc (Québécois) and the best of the NDP, maybe what the Greens also have – although they don’t really have enough power in Parliament to be that influential – but still, the ideas were there, and maybe that will allow us to design our ideal plan, “he said.

For young parents, the re-election of the Liberals also reduces the risk that their recent $ 10-a-day childcare offer will be rescinded, said a mother in her 30s sitting with her baby on a downtown Toronto campus. Tuesday.

“I think the only thing in terms of my demographic, with young children, that we would benefit from is the child care plan for a nationalized system, which was in place before the elections, but this at least guarantees a little more momentum. towards him, “said the woman, who gave her name as Jessica L.

“I don’t feel like there is anything that is meaningful to us until our constituency comes out to vote and becomes a bigger influence than the previous generation,” he said.

Voter turnout declined overall in this election, Global News reports. Data on young voters in particular is not yet available, but getting out to vote was a task made more difficult in this election without polling stations on college and university campuses due to security concerns from COVID-19 and other obstacles. , which Manvi Bhalla of Shake Up The Establishment said amounted to voter suppression.

“We strongly believe that there was a large degree of voter suppression that took place when it came to the youth vote in this election,” he said, also pointing to the disruption regarding registration, the deadlines for returning the special ballots (which many students send ballots from outside). required by their home constituencies), targeting the wrong polling stations and other barriers.

Younger voters did not see candidates who addressed their deepest concerns in this election, but they nonetheless hope that their representatives will get to work collaborating on the toughest issues they face. #cdnpoli # elxn44

Bhalla said the youth advocacy group plans in the coming weeks to map scenarios that could have played out in a system other than pre-post voting, which may lead to larger parties getting a number. disproportionate number of seats in relation to its total. support.

“We really need electoral reform so that people feel that their voices are being heard throughout this process,” Bhalla said.

Morgan Sharp / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada National Observer


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