‘Look, if you had, one shot, or one opportunity. To seize everything you ever wanted. In one moment. Would you capture it, or just let it slip?’
Those are the famous lyrics at the beginning of Eminem’s song - “Lose Yourself”. While Eminem is speaking about getting ready for a rap battle that his career hinged on, it's not too different than the decision that faces young people on October 19th.
There are about 5 million people aged 18-29 in Canada and these Millennials make up 20% of voters. That's about the same number of total votes cast that gave the Conservative Party a majority government. Think about that. Millennials can technically elected a government if they wanted to. But they don’t and people don’t really know why.
A whopping 59% of voters under the age of 30 did not vote in 2011. A startling amount considering that like Eminem, their careers, their lives and their street cred are dependent on which party is elected to power.
I think Millennials don’t vote because there are no institution that educates young people about our political system beyond high school Civics class. So where do young people learn about politics? To find out, Vote Savvy in partnership with IBM and researchers from the University of Oxford and Carleton University have designed the Savvy Survey. It aims to learn how young people access information about politics in order to better engage them in this and future elections.
Another reason why Millennials don't vote is because politicians rarely contact young people. A recent report by Samara found that political leaders fail to contact young Canadians. Almost half of the over 2000 young people surveyed have not been contacted by political leaders and leaders rarely make stops or do photo-ops in places where young people are. We have seen campaign speeches with adults, boy scouts and a monitor with the Netflix logo on it but a backdrop of Millenials resisting hard not to check their smartphones is few and far between.
Recognizing the general lack of attention to youth, Vote Savvy was started to empower voters and bring young people to the fore. Building off of the momentum of the Vote Mob movement in 2011 - Vote Savvy will be running Vote Mobs across Canada. The first Vote Mob took place at the University of Guelph on September 7th and the next Vote Mob will take place at the University of Carleton. Vote Mobs have also been scheduled at the University of Ottawa, McGill University, George Brown, University of Toronto and there is more to come.
Vote Mobs bring together young people to make a statement that they will vote and their issues matter. It’s an opportunity for young people to get informed and empowered to make their voices heard. Contact us to organize a Vote Mob today! :)