Tuesday, 27 May 2014

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At a Loss with the 2014 Ontario Elections (Political)

It's no wonder that, according to Elections Canada, only 37% of youth ages 18-24 voted in the last election in 2008. I didn't - but that's because legally I couldn't just yet!

This will be my first election where I able eligible to vote, and I would love to be able to exercise my right. The only problem I face, is that which many others my age are encountering as well - we simply do not know what is happening to make an educated decision.

Key Point: How can we get youth involved to take a stand? How can we make party platforms and political goals more transparent?


With the amount of time we spend on the daily on social media and the internet, you would think that it would increase our exposure to the world around us. Sure, Twitter keeps me updated mildly with its headlines appearing on tweets but in all honestly, I would have to say that I don't have much of a clue as to what is happening politically even within my own province.

It's no wonder that a party would want to strategically create a platform which would be given more attention to by those who are actually coming out to vote. Again, some of the blame for the turnout (or lack of) by youth may be due to ignorance and apathy but, some of it is a display of responsibility. We don't want to carelessly vote if we don't know the impact behind it and negate the vote of a citizen who is actively participating to see a change in what he/she believes in.

With regards to this election, I find it confusing as to how to make an informed decision. Some people are voting based on past performance (Liberals and their gas plant scandal and correcting actions). I've heard a bit about it here and there, but I don't understand what exactly happened. I think based on some of my views, I do lean slightly towards the left - but should I vote purely on ideology? Would that not be reinforcing what the Liberals done and supporting what they did?

What about the Conservative Party with Hudak? I hear that he plans to cut 100, 000 jobs to produce more jobs but on the surface I don't understand how that is supposed to work.  And from what I gather the NDP party, which ideally could act as a third party and a way out from voting either Liberal or PC, they have a 'far fetched' platform which fails to take into the account the level of debt Ontario currently faces.

Honestly, I may not be a well informed citizen - but I am a University student who is fairly educated and yet I still find it incredibly difficult to understand the underlying issues that are present. If I don't understand what is happening, others must not either! Voter turnout has been consistently decreasing over these last few years, and I'm not surprised, seeing as everyone I have asked said that they will not be participating. No one knows what to do. Surely, there must be a way to help educate us 'youngsters' so that we can make an informed vote. If we continue to do nothing then we will not be given priority when it comes to decisions that could affect us, instead it will be solely the baby boomers who stand to reap the benefits of change.

 So, will someone please weigh in and help to educate me?


2 comments:

  1. Andre Den Tandt29 May 2014 at 18:16

    christy,
    Your letter tells me that you are at least on the right track: you care enough and have obviously thought a lot about it. First of all: there are no shortcuts available through which someone can quickly give you all the info you need to make that decision wisely. After a lifetime of keeping abreast of ideas and events that shape our lives, I am still not partisan enough to vote regularly for one party. Parties, when in power, rot from the inside, with very few exceptions. When they do, you need to switch. Two terms is the usual limit. So, look for the best alternative.
    In this election the rot in the present government is obvious to all except those whose bread is buttered by the Liberals, or diehard partisans. They are clearly no longer open about what they do, they have shown amazing incompetence in executing a variety of projects, they suffer from innumeracy, a disability in handling large numbers.
    Of the alternatives, Andrea Horwath has shown an amazing amount of honesty
    (for a politician) in clearly recognizing the Liberal failures and in refusing to be bought by a budget clearly designed to buy her and her party's support. But she is caught between a rock and a hard place in having kept the Liberals in power for three years and is therefore somewhat tainted. Her party has a habit of acquiring lots of public debt as well, fairly typical of left-wing parties. However, in my view, that would be a bad thing for Ontario, given the enormous debt with which the Liberals have saddled us. What to do? The Progressive Conservatives and Tim Hudak are not an inspiring bunch, but they are in my view a credible alternative. It's sometimes good to remember that most elections are not about bringing in some saviour, but rather they are about throwing some rascals out when they no longer pass the smell test. This time around I am going to vote for that best alternative. It also helps that, in my riding, the PC candidate is intelligent and a "straight shooter". That last part is important, but not as important as the party,( for me anyway), because for all important legislation the MPP's have to vote with their caucus, and that's what matters most. I took this time because your letter touched me. Being a retiree, I have the time as well.

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  2. Hi Andre,

    I'm glad you were able to stumble upon this post. When I saw your reply I was surprised that someone would take the time out of their own day to write such a meaningful response.

    I think that what you said at the beginning was extremely important. Although people will have a side to which they lean to it is important to be flexible and to be able to keep an open mindset (for opportunities that may be even better). I also think that what you said about the other responsibility that many people have during an election - keeping those they believe are unsuitable out of power- is important too. Although voting for the party you do want in power is important too.

    I think it's interesting that due to the structure of the election itself, that we are moreso voting for the party and less the MP candidate themself.

    As a side note: I decided to get more involved and will be working for Elections Ontario! It is pretty interesting and I will be writing up my about my experience.

    Christy

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