I am a 17-year-old student attending Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High school. There seems to be a common misconception that youth today are just not interested in politics. That is not true; we are interested, we just want to do it in our own way.
We are the most connected generation in years and in this information age we are able to keep up with current events through the Internet. People are criticizing the Facebook group Canadians Against the Prorogation of Parliament by saying it was illegitimate. A university student started the group; and there are many young people on the discussion boards.
Young people want to be involved in politics, but if you want us debating and voting then you have to accept the fact that our generation will be politically active in our own way. Don’t tell us you want us involved and then try to trivialize our actions. If you want youth to be involved in matters of government, you have to keep up with the times.
As a member of the Facebook group referenced, I can say the support from Canadians that I witnessed was a pleasant surprise; I had always heard tales of major protests and marches taking place in Canada, but never had the privilege of witnessing it, until now.
When people wanted the members of the group to translate discussion into action, they came together in marches, rallies and vigils across the country. The events that occurred this past weekend made me proud to wear the maple leaf.
Many people are shrugging off the protests, saying there wasn’t enough people that attended. To those critics, I say it all has to start somewhere. If you want people to believe in politics, you have to make them believe that their vote counts.
In school we are taught that our founding fathers believed in the power of the individual, and this is why they worked so hard to implement democracy. Well, we can’t vote until Parliament is back in session, so we protest.
I say kudos to the many demonstrators that came out to protest, and the members of this Facebook group; they give my generation hope that, yes, we can influence the government.
People must remember that this was not a movement led by the opposition, it was a movement created by the people, and is only now being supported by the opposition parties. The definition of democracy is “by the people, for the people.” Well, my voting age does not exclude me from being part of the people, and I am proud that thousands of Canadians agreed with me; the people must be heard!
Stephen Harper is calling for a prorogue because he feels threatened, and he should; Canadians don’t agree with his actions, and we will speak out. That’s the nice thing about democracy, it keeps people accountable. Speaking of being accountable, just because I can’t vote doesn’t mean that I won’t do everything in my power to help with the next election.