In order for millenials to show up at the ballot box, governments must be more accessible and inclusive

By Brandon Hamilton

Millennials will be the largest and most multicultural demographic of eligible voters for this year’s federal election and it is imperative that we show up to vote. For some millennials, it will be their first time voting, and for others this could be the fifth or sixth. According to Elections Canada, 58.3% of newly eligible voters turned out to vote in the 2015 election — an increase of 17.7 points over 2011, yet we are still the generation that is least likely to vote. What is keeping millennials from voting?

We have clear issues that drive our potential votes such as climate change, education, the economy, mental health, and immigration, to name a few, but youth still feel governments are difficult to access and make change. On behalf of 10 national youth-serving organizations, Abacus Data conducted a national public opinion survey of a representative sample of 1,000 youth aged 15 to 30. 72% agree that “sometimes politics  and government seem so complicated that a person like me can’t really understand what’s going on.” In order for millenials to show up at the ballot box, governments must be more accessible and inclusive. 

Governments must be willing to open up discussions on policies and issues for all youth, not just those who are engaged in the political realm. We need new and innovative ways to reach out to those who may not have the opportunity or may not feel their voice is being heard. Youth simply need to be invited to the table.

Global Shapers Calgary is partnering with Apathy is Boring to create a dialogue and educate young people on democracy and political processes. It is our hope to increase the voter turnout of youth in Calgary, and across Canada. By voting, youth will be at the forefront for making change and ensuring our diverse voice is heard. 

 

PS: Are you registered to vote? If not you just need your provincial ID and head on over to Elections Canada.

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