Young voters may be the key to the Oct. 21 election

On Monday, Oct. 21, Canadians will vote for the party, and leader, that will govern the country.

With the election drawing near, some SAIT students have weighed in on what voting means to them.

“I feel confident in who I’m going to vote for so long as they maintain their platform,” said Andrew Walsh, a 30-year-old student currently enrolled at SAIT for academic upgrading.

The millennial generation is the largest demographic of eligible voters for the 2019 election.

“Every time I have a conversation with somebody on it [politics], I just get this ‘whatever’ viewpoint on it,” Walsh said in a recent interview.

Historically, young adults don’t vote as often as the older generation, but Elections Canada recorded a jump in votes from ages 18 to 24 from 38.8 per cent in 2011, to 57.1 per cent in 2015.

Speculation during the current campaign has focussed on the possible turnout of young voters. The question has been particularly important for Justin Trudeau and the Liberals, who were the main beneficiaries of the big youth turnout in 2015.

Ontario and Quebec have the majority of seats in Canada, 199 of the 338 being contested. Walsh thinks could discourage western Canadians, who feel their vote doesn’t matter.

The ability to compare comes with Walsh’s different experiences after living in Newfoundland for five years before moving back to Calgary.

“They felt that their vote mattered more, as opposed to people here,” Walsh said.

Wade Steele, a second-year carpentry student, said he won’t be voting in this federal election.

“I feel like it doesn’t matter who’s in charge,” Steele said.

“As if I know what’s good for the country, as well.”

Steele grew up in a conservative home but voted Liberal in the 2015 election, which saw Justin Trudeau’s Liberals defeat Stephen Harper’s government of nearly a decade.

Even if the Liberals didn’t win, Steele said he ‘wouldn’t have been pissed.’

Despite this, Steele said he had an experience where, in a small way, his opinion did matter.

“I could have an opinion and say I think it’s good to have social programs, it’s good to have small businesses, but what’s actually good for the country as a whole, I have no idea.”

Carpentry student Wade Steele takes a break from class, on campus. (Photo by Rorie Stannard/The Press)

Here’s some information on how to vote, and the issues in the campaign:

Voter eligibility:

Qualified individuals must be:

-Canadian citizens

-Eighteen years of age or older as of election day

-Have proof of identity and home address

Most citizens are already included in the National Register of Electors database. But individuals can review their status at Elections Canada’s website, call toll-free at 1-800-463-6868, or visit one of eleven offices located in Calgary.

Voters at the polls must have up to date addresses on their government-issued ID cards. Information can be updated via the online voter registration service on Election Canada.

Three ways to vote:

  • Find the nearest polling station from the voter information card received in the mail. Alternatively, citizens can contact the Voter Information Service. Polling stations are assigned by jurisdiction and citizens can vote on election day, Monday, Oct. 21, between 7 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
  • Bow Valley College, and Mount Royal University will offer on site campus voting.

Unsure who to vote for?

Inform yourself:

-Go to the official page of the party (Liberal Party, Conservative Party, New Democratic Party, Bloc Quebecois, and the Green Party of Canada).

-Visit The Canada Guide website to review a brief synopsis of each available party.

(Rorie Stannard/ThePress)