More needs to be done to involve youth in politics, says Liberal MP

By Melora McInnis
Jan. 22, 2015

Some Morell Regional high school students say their vote won’t make a difference, but Statistics Canada suggests otherwise.
In the 2011 federal election 38.8 per cent of youth ages 18-24 voted, but the turnout for those ages 25-34 was only 7.3 per cent higher.
Not enough politics is being discussed with youth, said some grade 11 students in Morell on Jan. 14.
“One vote is not going to make the difference. It’s not going to be a swing vote when it comes down to me,” said Chandler Acorn.
When it comes to politics, Morell high school Canadian history teacher Jonathan Murphy said it’s hard to keep students interested.
“There are some students that are very well versed and know the differences between parties and platforms but for the most part, I find the students wouldn’t have any idea.”
For his students to become involved the political issues have to be directed at youth, he said.
“It’s very concerning when you look at the statistics as far as percentage of voters in Canada.”
Geneva Cahill said she wants to vote when she’s of age, although she doesn’t know much about politics.
“If I want anything to change I probably should. If I complain about the government or anything like that, then I didn’t have a say because I didn’t vote,” she said.
Students are interested in politics if it applies to youth but the government tends to direct the issues to the older generation, she said.
“I don’t really think they (politicians) care, personally. They just go with what they’ve always known. But things are changing and people are becoming interested in different things and they haven’t really got into the loop.”
Malpeque MP of the Liberal Party Wayne Easter said youth seem to be interested in politics but they have a history of not voting.
“I think part of it is, not enough discussion of politics,” he said.
The Liberal party’s key emphasis is getting youth involved in politics but more can be done, said Easter.
“I wouldn’t by any means say were doing enough either to get in contact with young people.”
The MP gives speeches at high schools to involve youth. The party also has a Young Liberals wing but more can be done, he said.
“I think all of us, regardless of the political party have got to find ways of connecting with young people on their issues and involve them in the process.”