Nothing annoys me more than when a young person doesn’t vote. Okay, there probably are things that annoy me more, but young people not voting is right up there.
I’ll put aside from the fact that voting should be compulsory in Canada, as it is here in Australia, because that’s for another day. I won’t comment on how weak-kneed Canadian politicians are for not making voting compulsory because they know that it will hurt their own standing at the polls next time around.
Young people in Cape Breton, and generally in Nova Scotia as a whole, are not very happy with the current government. Who is? Irving, maybe? They’ve not been very kind to young people (I use this language because I believe it best describes what the McNeil Government has done to the young people of the Province), driven out the film industry (which was providing good jobs), and uncapped tuition–what a recipe for success! The cherry on top? They’ve also trashed the rebate programme that was helping young professionals who wanted to stay and make a life in the ever-more-quickly depopulating Nova Scotia.
Now, I think that young people are definitely voting with their feet–they’re leaving Nova Scotia daily by the dozens (myself included), but for those who stay, you need to vote. Better yet, you should stand for election yourself. The old white men running the Province are not going to help you any unless you make yourself a threat to them: you can do this by voting for anyone but them.
Someone in the Liberal Party (the party that currently holds government) recently told me point-blank that young people don’t matter because they don’t vote. And that person is right, why would young people matter if they don’t vote?
The only way to make yourself matter is by voting. Spoil your ballot for all I care, because you still voted. In fact, spoiling your ballot is a great way to send the message that you ‘vote for none of the candidates’ if you don’t like any of them. Vote Liberal, Progressive Conservative, Greens, Communist, whatever–just VOTE. If you don’t, you have no one but yourself to blame for the ever worsening situation for young people in Nova Scotia