How volunteering for my political party of choice has helped me grow

On Aug. 15, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada would once again be going into a federal election. Naturally, there was outrage online – why call an election during a pandemic? Is this all just a ploy by the Liberal Party to gain a majority? What’s the importance of voting when you don’t like either of the parties that have consistently competed over the citizens of Canada?

Like many, I haven’t been happy with the Liberal Party or the Conservative Party. Being surrounded by the general cynicism that overtakes those who can vote, I assumed that the best way to vote had to be for one of the “big two”. 

While many steer away from discussing politics, I have always been the opposite. If we don’t discuss politics, anything that we wish to change never will.

With this belief in my mind, I made a promise to myself – no longer would I let myself be a bystander. While I have taken the time to vote in each election I have been eligible to participate in, I never felt like I was doing enough. 

By voting for the Liberal Party, I had been fulfilling what I believed was my place. This had made me steer myself away from my true beliefs, which had most closely aligned with the platform put out by the New Democratic Party. 

As a student at a progressive Canadian University, I do realize the irony of this. 

In a moment of pure adrenaline and desire to be a part of the change I desperately want to see, I went to the website of the New Democratic Party (NDP) and signed up to volunteer. 

I haven’t looked back since. 

Being a volunteer in a political cause you believe in changes your perspective on many fronts. In my time volunteering so far, I’ve had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of Canadians from many different places and professions.

From individuals in Alberta who desperately want to see improvements in their COVID-19 response to high-school students from Ontario who can’t vote but still hold a passion for the NDP’s platform, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my view on the kinds of individuals that Canada is made up of. 

In addition, it also has made me reassess my role as a student.

As university students, the party we vote for will have a direct impact on what our future coming out of university will look like. As much as most of us don’t like to think about the inevitability of our graduation day coming closer, it’s a reality that we will all have to face at some point. 

To see change, we have to be the change. This includes helping to boost the beliefs and party that we believe will push Canada to be the best country that it can be. 

What may seem like a small step can make all of the difference – by volunteering for the party you believe in, you lose nothing. In fact, you might leave with a new perspective of Canada that will inspire you to be an agent of change in many facets of your life.

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