U of R students ready to vote

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Melissa Pleau speaks to Carillon News Writer Derek Cameron. Photo: Brett Nielsen

Melissa Pleau speaks to Carillon News Writer Derek Cameron. Photo: Brett Nielsen

Federal election sparks interest in U of R students

Students at the University of Regina are expressing interest in the upcoming election, with many students preparing to vote for the first time.

In the 2011 federal election, the voting rate was “38.8 per cent for ages 18–24,” according to Elections Canada. However, “[f]or 2011, those eligible to vote for the first time federally includes those born between October 15, 1990 and May 2, 1993. These youth voted at slightly higher rates (40.5 per cent) than those youth that were previously eligible (37.8 per cent).” This trend shows that, perhaps, politics has started to stir young people into action.

Luke Brown, a first-year arts student, says he’s going to vote.

“Its fairly important to me. Politics affects me, like a nine out of ten. The economy is important to me, and also the relations with First Nations people. Support for the lower and middle classes, that’s also important.”

Chris Buchan, second-year engineering student, echoes the thoughts of many on the long campaign: “I mean, its not really something I’m paying attention to yet, but I will vote, I’ll pay attention closer to the election date.”

He admitted that he felt government “doesn’t affect me much.”

Joseph Pham, a third-year chemistry student, says that he’ll vote, but “I have a lot of concerns with all the parties, some more than others.” Pham says he looks at taxes, “and I think a lot of promises never really get kept on that front. I also think the government should increase… spending on post secondary education and grants to go to university. It’s also important to me that the government stands up for environmental issues.”

Monica Couture, a first-year actuarial science student, is concerned about religious issues.

“I’m not sure if I’ll vote and who I’ll vote for,” she told the Carillon. “Its really hard to choose, especially when factoring in stances on abortion.”

Many other students interviewed indicated they were planning to vote. A number of other students declined to be interviewed, but only a small minority of those approached indicated they would be unlikely to vote in the election.

It also seems that University of Regina students are more discerning than most Canadians. All those who agreed to an interview rejected the notion that the Canadian federal parties are the same, a sentiment reportedly shared by 40 per cent of Canadians in a recent Ipsos poll.

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