‘Show up to vote, you’ll scare the crap out of them’

Political science professor Don Desserud speaks Sept.13 during a Politics on Tap, a session aimed at getting young Canadians to vote. Maggie Muttart photo.
Political science professor Don Desserud speaks Sept.13 during a Politics on Tap, a session aimed at getting young Canadians to vote. Maggie Muttart photo.

By Maggie Muttart

Sept.18, 2015

When Riley Peters sees attacks ads on TV, all he can think is how ridiculous they seem.

The UPEI business student said some of the ads concerning the upcoming federal election are pretty immature.

“Leaders should be trying to build themselves up, not tear others down. Definitely affects my view of them as potential role models.”

Peters made the comment while at Politics on Tap, a series hosted by the UPEI Student Union. A session was held at The Pourhouse in Charlottetown on Sept.14 to engage young voters to get involved.

Derrick Biso is former Green Party candidate for District 14 and he hosted the event.

Young voters are important because the decisions made today are going to affect younger voters the longest, he said.

“You yourself are a leader, and you yourself have a lot of impact out in the community.

“Yeah it’s good to talk about movies and TV and your favourite Netflix series; very important things, but not nearly as important as our future.”

Not only is it important to get out and vote, but to talk about voting with peers, family and anyone who might be interested, Biso said.

“Talking about voting is important, not keeping it all hush-hush but saying, ‘I’m voting for this person and this is why.’”

Political scientist and UPEI professor Don Desserud said it is important for young people to vote because political parties are aware of the low voter turnout. That’s why young voters aren’t even on their radar.

“Baby boomers have moved through their entire lives being the biggest group,” said Desserud.

“And as a consequence, we’ve always been at the apex of decision-making because we’re the biggest population group.

“So why should you get out and vote? Because they won’t notice. In fact, if you all show up on Oct.19 to vote, you’ll scare the crap out of them.”

Peters said people his age should vote in the election because they don’t realize their power.

“Maybe if more exercised their democratic freedom, students and young people would realize they have the power to make a difference.

“I’ve been bugging all my friends constantly talking about the election because I want them to pay attention to how important it is. It’s as if they don’t understand that the next time we’re going to have this chance, we’ll be 23, 24 years old.”

Biso said when young people have had a chance to hear about the process and the importance of voting, they know how to get involved.

“Vote for those who cannot. There are many people denied the right to vote.

“If you don’t care, talk to someone who can’t vote and ask if they care. Give a voice to those who are silenced and denied it.”

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