A young man running for the New Democratic Party is hoping to inspire more young people to get politically involved.
“Not enough of our youth are engaged in politics and they should be,” said Aditya Rao, the NDP candidate in the Drumheller-Stettler riding.
Rao, 22, is a student at the University of Alberta and currently resides in Edmonton.
“The stats for voter turnout are just terrible,” he said. “If more young people had gone out and voted, the NDP might have taken the last federal election.”
But first and foremost for Rao is ensuring a publicly funded strong health care system.
He is also interested in making post secondary education more accessible and attractive to Albertan high school students.
“The rate of students that go into post secondary education after high school is alarmingly low in this province,” he said. “It’s almost at a crisis point.”
Rao was raised largely in India but went to high school in Drumheller. He is in the process of finishing up the last year of his bachelor’s degree, double majoring in political science and economics.
He plans on journeying to Rwanda in May to study the reconstruction of that country since the 1994 genocide.
Rao also hopes to start law school in September 2013.
He is currently the president of the Residence Halls Association at the University of Alberta.
He was the co-ordinator for Racism Free Edmonton at the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights and worked with a group to lobby Canadian MPs to do something about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
“I’m the best candidate because I provide a fresh and new perspective as a young person,” said Rao. “I believe that the NDP know what this province needs for a progressive and inclusive future where everyone can share in our province’s prosperity.”