Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Way to go students!!! Now we need all of Canada's youth voting

I'm loving all the youtube videos of vote mobs taking place all across Canada on university campuses.  Yes the Conservatives tried to have the votes cast by University of Guelph students ruled invalid, but thankfully they failed.

I'm 44 years of age, darn close to 45 in fact and it kind of puts me in a weird nexus.  I'm too young to identify with the baby boom generation as they slip into retirement and Depends undergarments

But I'm also too old to really understand those whose birthdays are two decades after my own.  I sort of have a foot in both camps, but I'm not completely comfortable with either group.

Being in the Canadian Forces I'm surrounded by twenty somethings, kids just starting out their adult lives.  Just for proverbial s###s and giggles I'll sometimes affect a gangsta pose for a laugh, but I know how ridiculous a bald 40ish guy looks trying to act cool.  Heck, my 12 year old son thinks I fart dust. 

I wouldn't trade it though, its keeping me fit and keeping me young at heart which is what really counts in life.  I'm constantly learning, which is essential because when you stop learning you start dying in my opinion.

But one thing that really gets under my skin is the number of young adults I come across who think democracy is a waste of time, particularly among those serving in this nation's military.

Our soldiers are serving in Afghanistan and Libya right now with the stated aim of bringing democracy to those countries.  Across the Middle East people are literally risking their lives for democratic ideals. 

Imagine, having the right to cast a ballot that will help determine the direction your country will take in the coming years.  Nobody has to die for the right to vote in an election here, but that doesn't mean we should just say 'meh'. 

A central theme in this election is that of  tax cuts for profitable businesses.  We're talking billions of dollars that could either go into government programs and deficit reduction, or back onto the balance sheets of major corporations like banks and oil companies.

The Conservatives are telling people that reducing corporate taxes will mean more jobs for Canadians, while others like Jack Layton of the NDP cite cases where companies have closed operations after having their taxes lowered. 

What do young people think?

The Liberals want to invest money in education and child care, the Conservatives are opposed to these types of initiatives, calling them wasteful and inefficient. 

Do young people have an opinion?

One fact is certain, deficits today mean either higher taxes or reduced government services in the future...or a combination of the two. Residents of Ontario used to be able to visit the eye doctor and have it paid for out of the provincial health plan, but not any more. 

Ottawa cut the amount of money it transferred to the provinces back in the nineties.  Doing so meant Ottawa was finally able to start paying down a crippling federal debt. But it also meant a reduction in the number of government paid for services being offered.

Its your future boys and girls?  Do you value government provided services or would you prefer they be handled by the private sector?

If you're 18 years of age or older in this country you have a voice, a say, a ballot.  Nobody can force you to use it, although some may try to swipe the ballot box.  Don't let anyone take away your right to vote, and don't let anyone tell you democracy isn't important.

Here's a video from Memorial University in Newfoundland:

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