LETTER: Today’s youth are not reckless, irresponsible, stupid

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You should know that I can’t stand the term “political youth”, but there’s a reason you see it plastered on your social media, in the news, and in your textbooks. For years political parties have desperately tried to appeal to the mythical group of disengaged young people. Hoping that their rhetoric will ignite a political will that could shape our future, but even more so it is because they understand that you could turn the country upside down with the scratch of your pencil on your ballot. Now more than ever, we need, absolutely need, to lace up our Converse shoes and march down to the polling station and defend our right to a healthy environment, and a future for our families.

In case you’re not aware of the situation in Cowichan-Malahat-Langford, the Conservative Party is looking to topple the decades of progressive representation we’ve enjoyed in Ottawa. Alistair MacGregor and the New Democratic caucus has never wavered in their support of women and minority rights, the rights of the worker, and in advocating the interests of youth. When Alistair calls for affordable housing, he means for you. When he calls for climate justice, that future is for you. As it stands, the Conservatives have a good chance of taking back this riding. We can’t afford to regress. We have futures to look after, and human rights to protect. That is why I’ve spent the last few months volunteering for the NDP.

We aren’t defined by our birthdates; youth is the least important thing about me. What matters is a commitment to the values we share. We know the importance of looking after each other, and we will. We don’t want to be just youth, but we can be something else; we can be voters. On Oct. 21, polls will be open, and you’ll have the opportunity to vote — many of you for the first time. From one youth turned voter to a potential other, do it. Take the time to vote and secure Alistair’s return to Ottawa.

Caelen Cook

Shawnigan Lake

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