Vote mobs show voting is cool

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At a time when young voters are staying away from the voting booths in droves, the thought of university students from across Canada holding impromptu "vote mobs" to encourage voting by younger Canadians has to be encouraging.

While these mobs are being frowned upon by some, it's a creative way for younger Canadians to show others that voting and political participation are cool.

It's well worth it if it can encourage these young voters to think about the Canada they will be part of when they leave university or college to enter the work world for the first time.

The fact is our youngest voters are not participating in the political process. Most young people have other priorities when it comes to actually going to the ballot box on election day.

Too many young people, there's this feeling their vote doesn't count while others feel politicians never listen to their concerns or are prepared to bring into law the things they feel are priorities - such as lessening the impact of student debt and creating jobs closer to home so they don't have to uproot themselves from their friends and family and move across the province or the country to find that first job.

It's something candidates have heard on the campaign trail just as they have during the past few elections. They say they are reaching out to young voters, but the message is not being heard.

The statistics are stunning. In 2008, only 37 per cent of eligible voters between ages 18 and 24 vote. That's well below the national average of 58.8 per cent.

There's a feeling that if people vote as early as they can they will become lifelong voters.  By exhibiting a bit of national pride and showing how cool it is to vote, organizers are thinking outside the box when it comes to catching the interest of young voters.

While some political organizers seem to oppose these events, these spontaneous mobs should be encouraged especially if they result in a better participation rate among this country's future leaders.

Geographic location: Canada

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  • BeverleySmith
    April 24, 2011 - 09:54

    I am a school teacher, now a grandma of five and I have spent many years trying to get kids to care about their society, to feel engaged, to get angry and active about what they want to change. I feel like a mother hen bursting with pride about today's young people. They changed the election out here in Calgary and voted in a mayor no polls had thought had a chance and he has turned out to be amazingly good at his job. I have great hopes for this election, for youth and for the future. Canada is going to be all the better for this rise in the power of youth who care. Hooray!