A Vote Mob Is A Good Mob

Posted by Somebody's Mother on 12:49 p.m.

It all started with a rant on Rick Mercer’s Tuesday night show, The Mercer Report. Mercer is famous for his short speeches or rants that are filmed as he hustles down one of the graffiti ridden alleys of Toronto. The topic was the youth vote. He began his one-minute rant with the observation that, in this election, every demographic group has been targeted except one. He finished his speech with the following:

It is the conventional wisdom of all political parties that young people will not vote. And the parties, they like it that way. It's why your tuition keeps going up.

So please, if you're between the age of 18 and 25 and you want to scare the hell out of the people that run this country, this time around, do the unexpected. Take 20 minutes out of your day and do what young people all around the world are dying to do.

What followed was the beginning of a series “vote mobs” on university campuses across the country. A vote mob is not a protest demonstration. Its purpose is to show other young people that there are youth who do care about the political process and to encourage as many young people as possible to vote on May 2nd. These events are non-partisan, yet they are also meant to show politicians that youth are paying attention to what politicians are saying, and that it’s time for politicians to pay attention to people between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Participants carry signs, sing songs, dance, and generally have a good time.

It’s really nice to see a celebrity use his fame for good, and I’m especially pleased to see Mercer attack one of my pet peeves, voter apathy. I strongly believe that it’s the responsibility of everybody of voting age to cast a ballot, and if you can’t vote for anyone, then you should show up, vote for everybody, thus destroying your ballot. Destroying a ballot is important because these are counted too, and if enough people who are truly disgusted with things as they are destroy their ballot, it would send a message as well. Voting is the one time when we can express our political will. If we shut up, then politicians can ride roughshod over us all. We just can’t let that happen.

The other night, I watched a newscast in which a woman in her twenties claimed that she didn’t vote because she just didn’t understand politics so she didn’t really care. I walked away from my TV in disgust. This woman was about to get married and perhaps would eventually start a family. You wouldn’t ignore what’s going on in your child’s school so why should you ignore what’s going on in the halls of government, the very place where decisions are made that will affect your child’s future.

I applaud the vote mob movement and I encourage everybody to get to the polling stations on May 2nd and vote, no matter how old you are. If you are interested in what vote mobs are about, the web site www.leadnow.ca gives more information about this organization whose purpose is to get young people to be politically engaged.

If young people are the future of Canada, they have every right to give voice to what kind of future that will be. On May 2nd, let your voice be heard and vote, because if you don’t, you have no right to complain about the government that you get.



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