Why your vote really matters in this election

With the provincial election right around the corner, the fate of our province and its leadership will be placed in the hands of the Ontarians who actually show up to the voting polls on June 7 — and that can be a daunting thought.

According to the Toronto Star, Ontario’s election turnouts are at an all time low  — with our province being the lowest in Canada both federally and provincially.

In 2011, only 48 per cent of Ontarians voted and in 2014, a disheartening 51 per cent of people cast their vote during the election.

One in three people between the ages of 18 to 24 claimed they even bothered to vote in the 2014 election, highlighting a fundamental problem that occurs during election season — why aren’t young people voting in the first place?

I think it’s pretty much inexcusable to not vote if you are legally able to and aren’t faced with any legitimate restrictions that prevent you from doing so. If laziness and an apathetic attitude are the only things that stand in the way of you and a voting booth, then you really have no right to criticize the policies, changes and overall state of our provincial government.

There is a definite air of entitlement that can accompany younger people when it comes to voting and it’s pretty pathetic when university students are in an age demographic that should care a hell of a lot more about the state of our politics than statistics currently say we do.

And the fact is, no matter who is elected, that individual will make an impact in some way, shape or form on the key aspects of everyday living that affect us directly in this province. Healthcare, taxes, hydro, school tuition — the list goes on and on and these are the buzzwords that are brought up in nearly every political platform.

Each candidate has a vision in mind for what they want Ontario to be and it is up to us to help the right person make that happen.

Regardless of your party affiliation, you should care about who gets elected this June.

It shouldn’t be too much of a drawn out chore to find a place to cast your vote and support whoever you think is the best choice in this election. If you have absolutely no idea who you support in the first place, then do everyone a favour and actually educate yourself on the parties and their platforms.

Don’t rely on your loudmouth uncle or arguments in Facebook comment sections to dictate who you should vote for.

Make Google your friend and use it to research the details of each platform and watch debates between the candidates online.

You can even take a political party quiz online to show which party matches your stances on the topics and issues you feel most strongly about. You can’t really complain and bemoan the state of our government for its failings when you haven’t taken the (very little) time to try and make a possible change by voting. Improvements to things such as fundamental services likely won’t occur if all you do is unload your frustrations about the university’s lacking mental health care onto Spotted at Laurier and call it a day.

Important issues that influence students significantly are being tackled and debated by a group of vastly different political leaders. It is up to us to do our part for the place we call home.

We have the privilege of being able to vote in this country and in this province, so we should be actively using it. If my friend who’s studying abroad can vote from England, you can too. Even if you don’t think that voting matters, it does. There is a reason why our neighbours in the South have Donald Trump as president and look how well that’s working out for them.Although the Ontario election doesn’t seem like it will have a large impact on things in the long run, it most certainly will — just take a look at all of the day to day aspects of living that are affected by provincial politics.

Make sure you show up to a poll this June and prove the statistics that paint millennials as careless airheads wrong.
We are capable of far better and the key to getting there rests in our commitment to vote.

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