Wednesday, April 20, 2016

How Young Canadians May Have Won Justin Trudeau His Majority

For months  before the last election, I worked with many others to try to get young Canadians to vote.

And at the end of that long campaign I addressed this last post to them. 

Show them that young Canadians will never never be slaves. Answer the call to save our country as so many have before you, even if that meant sacrificing their young lives. Stand up for your future and the future of our beautiful Canada. And with the power of your ballot destroy this monstrous tyrant.

And now it seems that not only did those young Canadians help bring down the tyrant, they may have been responsible for winning Justin Trudeau his majority.

A report commissioned by the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations suggests just over half of Canadians aged 18 to 25 went to the polls in the last election, a sharp increase from the 39-per-cent turnout in 2011. 

The association’s executive director, Michael McDonald, says the data suggest the Liberals have young voters to thank for their majority in the House of Commons.

You can read the full Abacus poll to understand why the so-called millennials are finally making their presence felt, and on their way to becoming an electoral powerhouse. 

The 18 to 25 year-olds we surveyed and highlight in this report are part of Canada’s Millennial generation; the largest cohort of Canadians, and soon to be the majority of Canada’s workforce. 

 In the past, their political voice has been muted by their lack of engagement and participation. But the 2015 election was different. Hundreds of thousands of new voters cast ballots on October 19, most of whom were young and had never voted before. 

And why so many supported and still support Justin Trudeau...

Among those aged 18 to 25, almost half of them voted for a political leader they felt understood them and their issues, could inspire them to get involved, and most importantly, a leader they could relate to, who spoke to them on their terms, and where they were. 

And despite what the Trudeau haters of this world say, will not easily abandon him.

Susan Delacourt takes a look at what she calls the "awakening" and why it blows up some popular cliches.

Contrary to the popular clichés, says the study, Canada’s young people are paying attention; one in three described themselves as politically engaged and about 52 per cent said they followed news about national politics very or somewhat closely.

A full 63 per cent said job-creation should be a priority, compared to 20 per cent who said pot laws should be on the immediate to-do list for Trudeau’s government. (Boom goes another cliché about what young voters are thinking.) 

When they were asked about current challenges, a big one cited was the cost of food. Their concerns about food costs, in fact, ranked slightly higher than concerns about the cost of education.

And what it could mean for the future...

Of course, it’s always possible that this surge of young voters will fade away as surely as all the excitement over the new government. But we do know that voting is a bit of a habit; young voters turn into older voters, and maybe now that these 18 to 25-year-olds have had a taste of democracy, they’ll stick with it as they move into middle age.

If that’s the case, maybe that 2015 election will turn out to be a vote for the future.

While this former Con operative sums up the bad news for the Harper Party.

Put plainly, only one in five young people voted Conservative on October 19 — despite a twelve point increase in youth voter turnout from 2011. By comparison, the 2011 election saw the Tories win 33 per cent of millennial voters. 

Couple this with abysmal projections for future Tory support (young people are more willing to vote NDP or Green before considering the Conservatives) and the future for Conservatives in Canada looks pretty bleak.

Which begins with a shovel and ends in a grave...

And all I can say is that this is all good.

The much maligned millennials are the most progressive generation ever. They instinctively support women's rights and gay rights. They believe in diversity. They understand that a society that doesn't respect its seniors is not a real society. They support peace not war.

They are not afraid of the word "socialism" which is why so many of them are supporting Bernie Sanders...

And of course, they strongly believe in saving the planet for themselves and their children, and the generations that will follow them.

By the time the next election arrives there will be many more millennials.

And the bottom line is that the future has never looked brighter.

And it belongs to us...

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  1. Anonymous6:05 AM

    i guess the boys and girls in Manitoba were asleep at the wheel lately when they allowed a p.c. government/regime to take over their province. Stoopid is contagious. It obviously spread fro oilberta to them by virtue of the p.c. hacks that were employed to "engineer" a win, regardless of the dirty, underhanded tactics used. At least now heil harper has two provinces he can visit without fear of reprisals.

    1. hi anon...the problem was the NDP government was very unpopular, and had been in power forever. The Liberal candidate was amateurish. So Pallister was voted in despite his policies and his scandals. And all I say is you get what you vote for, and thank goodness I don't live in Manitoba....

  2. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Very sad about Manitoba. But from the sounds of their new premier, it won't be long before Canadians wake up to another embarrassment of a whacked out elected official. Hopefully this one has an expiration date.

    I was thrilled when Trudeau took on Minister of Youth at the swearing in ceremony last fall. At the time I thought that it was his way of continuing the engagement of this demographic. We knew back then from polls that he was popular with this group, and expected a higher voter turnout from them. As they age, I.think the engagement of the next group will continue as a (smart) policy. Trudeau really is ready. Thank goodness for Canadians:-))

    As for the CPC, maybe they should think about bringing back the "progressive" from their old pre-Harper days. Otherwise, they will become like many churches across Canada, old and abandoned.


    1. hi TS...yeah the situation is depressing. But at least it's only Pallister and Brad Wall, and Alberta is in the hands of the NDP. Or we could face a full redneck uprising. Not than I'm taking any chances eh? I've ordered my men to start building a wall between Ontario and Manitoba immediately. And it has to be a tall one because Pallister is 6ft 8in tall. And the last thing we need to see is Ol' Brian's head staring down at us, firing off biblical curses, or trying to sell us land in Costa Rica...

  3. Anonymous4:46 PM

    Not may, they were responsible Simon.
    Your efforts to get our youth out to vote not only worked, it helped obliterate Harper and reduced him to the cowardly recluse that he's become so take a bow my friend.
    I would like to take a little credit myself as well because in my employ, I usually have 3 or 4 summer students under my supervision and I was not shy in pointing out to them how important their votes would be last October. They already despised Harper without my input so just getting them and their peers out to vote was my main goal.
    Well it worked too and I cant help but feel that I had a small part in helping to oust Harper.
    A most deeply moving call to me happened on election night at 11PM, my phone rang and it was one of my past female students who was undoubtedly celebrating, she was half crying and half laughing and she said to me in the most sincere and heart-wrenching way, "We did it"! After a pause and through tear stained eyes I replied, "We did indeed".

    1. hi JD...I only put in the word 'may" because a poll can only suggest something. But in my heart I think it's right. I think that by reaching out to young people, and using the internet and songs to attract and encourage them to join in the political process, we did help boost the number of young people who voted. My contribution was smaller than I had hoped, and the campaign fell short of the one I witnessed in Scotland in the lead up to the referendum. But considering that we're Canadians, and you need a bulldozer to get some of us motivated, I thought we did pretty good. And let's just do it even better next time....