The idea that young people are not engaged…


The idea that young people are not engaged is old Conservative rhetoric. Hundreds of Canadian students, proud citizens, rallied in “vote mobs” at the University of Ottawa, University of Vancouver, and Guelph University. These are engaged and passionate people who insist that their voices be heard at election time, even if Stephen Harper believes he can win by speaking only to baby boomers.

Michael Ignatieff has come out in support of these youth vote rallies, and his platform includes the Canadian Education Passport, which provides $4,000 over four years to students through the existing RESP framework. What does Stephen Harper’s people do for young voters? Michael Sona, executive assistant to Rob Moore, forcibly grabbed a ballot box on a university campus, interfering with Elections Canada staff. This is more contempt from a government that Speaker Milliken ruled against twice: once for contempt for failure to disclose documents relating to Afghan detainees and again over the Conservative government’s refusal to report to Parliament on the cost of it’s Tough-On-Crime legislation.

Outside of stealth fighters (with no engines) and $8 Billion American-style super-max prisons, the promises in the CPC platform are deliverable only four years after this election – and no government has lasted that long since the Liberal government elected in 2000.Stephen Harper’s promises will do little for students, families, or health care. We shouldn’t choose to wait four years to see if Stephen Harper will do anything for ordinary Canadians; we should choose a government that will work starting right away.

I’m supporting Yves Fricot and Michael Ignatieff because I don’t approve of Stephen Harper’s spending billions of dollars on fake lakes and violent international summits in Toronto. I want a government that focuses on students, families, and fiscal responsibility. I’m a young Canadian, so Stephen Harper might say that I’m not likely to vote on May 2nd, but that’s just because he knows that my friends and I aren’t likely to vote for him.

Oh, and while my parents’ generation is preparing to retire, Harper is saddling my friends and me with the largest structural deficit in Canadian history. He surely doesn’t expect us to vote for that; perhaps that’s why he’s hoping we won’t vote at all.


Johnny de Bakker

Thunder Bay, ON

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