Fredericton — Election season is in full bloom, and with it come the many campaign promises. The Green Party, who’ve vowed to abolish tuition fees for students and their families, are beginning to make some noise. They’ve also promised to forgive all student debt above $10,000, which some see as a hollow promise considering how low the average turn out is for young voters.
“That sounds like an answer to my prayers,” said 20-year-old Wyatt King, a UNB engineering student. “I’m in debt up to my neck already, so just knowing the potential exists that I could be debt-free is reassuring. I guess I just have to cross my fingers and hope those eligible to vote get out there and do so when the time comes.”
King, who is an of-age and legal New Brunswick resident, claims that he won’t be voting because he’s still pretty young. “I’ll likely have something to do that day,” he told The Manatee. “Other people will probably vote, so I’m not too worried. It’s not like one vote even matters, anyway.”
King is not alone in his thought process. Polls show that an alarming number of Canada’s young people don’t get out and vote when the time comes, though they are often the loudest when it comes to complaining about their elected officials. Some studies have provided numbers stating that as few 28 percent of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 vote during election season, and that they’re much more likely to spray-paint “Harper” on the bottom of a STOP sign than they are to exercise their democratic right.
“Voting is like sex for me,” said Arthur Caldwell, a 73-year-old Fredericton resident. “I tell people I do it a lot more than I actually do.” Caldwell went on to assure us that he did plan on voting this year though. “I’m actually really excited about this election. I could get two birds with one stone — get Harper out of office and after 50 years finally get rid of my New Brunswick student loan.”