The Canadian federal election is coming up, and a lot of people are still deciding on whom they should vote for. It’s okay to be uncertain, but what’s worse is people who decide not to vote at all.
Now I’m going to hit you with some boring numbers and shit for a bit, but bear with me because it’s important.
The highest voter turnout in Canadian history was 1958 where 79.4% of the population voted. Since then, we have been on a steady decline to the point where in the 2011 election, only 61.4% of the population voted.
Now a lot of people like to pick on the youth population for this problem, but they’re actually just a scapegoat and it creates an over-exaggerated, nasty stigma about the youth. Approximately 24 million Canadians are eligible to vote in Canada and around 14 million voted in 2011. Statistics Canada says 4.5 million people are in the 15-24 category, 2.2 million in the 15-19 range and 2.3 million in the 20-24 age range. So, let’s roughly estimate the portion of the available voters from the 18-24 category to be 3 million, give or take. Elections Canada states that 38.8% in the18-24 range of voters chose to vote in 2011. That means 1.164 million out of 3 million voted.
That’s not great, but when you consider out of the 24 million eligible, only 12.5% of voters or consider in the 18-24 youth category. Don’t get me wrong, we could definitely do better, but it’s not just the youth that need to step up. Everyone needs to step up.
So now all the snooze worthy data is out of the way and the math geeks are done touching themselves, we can get to why it’s important for everyone to vote.
There are two basic reasons why you should vote. The first one is the one that every parent or news station tries to drill into your head and has become a cliché parody of itself. “Every vote counts,” “Your voice matters,” and so on, and so on. And it’s true; every vote matters. You should vote if you want your voice to be heard, and people who don’t vote shouldn’t be allowed to bitch about the current situation of our country because they had not part in trying to stop it.
Just to clarify: posting a tweet about Harper being an asshole, not knowing how or why, but just because you saw a snarky ad about him before quickly skipping it to look at some Buzzfeed list on “17 dogs that look like Jesus” or some shit, doesn’t mean you’re helping solve the problem.
Youth and mature adults are both sick of hearing the same old message about how important your vote is. So I’m going to put to you a different way, a way that all generations can relate too.
Do you know an idiot? Who doesn’t? They’re everywhere. From the step-dad offering you Green Day tickets to earn your approval, to the cat lady at work who won’t stop showing you pictures of her kitten that she creepily refers to it as “her baby” (we get it Linda, it’s wearing a hoodie, shut the f*** up). When you don’t vote, you give the votes of the people who did more worth.
For example: let’s say five people are voting on whether or not it should be mandatory for babies to be named Terrence from now on. Three are against it, two are for it. In this case, one vote is worth 20%. If only three people show up to vote, two that are for it, and one that’s against it, now each vote is worth 33.3% and congratulations, your baby is Terrence, and it’s your fault.
Don’t let your baby be named Terrence. When you don’t vote, you make the idiots out there have a louder voice. So go out and vote. Your vote matters, but more importantly, when you vote, you begin to slightly muzzle the idiots out there. I don’t care who you vote for, just vote. Let’s start a movement. Make a difference. Vote October 19th so we can #MuzzleIdiots.