General

Why you should vote in the federal election on October 19

Election day is coming up – in fact, lots of students have already voted in the advance polls on campus over the past week.  There are lots of reasons why you should vote – because you care about the future of Canada and you want to have a voice in who leads it, because only 38% of young Canadians voted in the 2011 federal election (source: Youth Vote Canada) and that’s just not good enough, because you’re really passionate about an issue like education or the environment and you want to vote for the candidate who best reflects your views, or just because you can.

Those are all good reasons, and here’s one more: it’s fun! With a few alterations to your voting routine, you can have the time of your life at the polls. Here’s how.

1. Do some research.

Before you head over to your nearest Elections Canada office or designated voting station, get to know the candidates that are competing for your confidence. Check out our very own The Varsity’s round-up of candidates in University-Rosedale, or Buzzfeed’s hard-hitting comparison of the candidates to emojis. Grab some popcorn and hear from the federal candidates themselves in recent debates like the Munk Debate on foreign policy, the Globe debate on the economy, and the Macleans debate. Check out the hashtag #elxn42 on Twitter to see what Canadians are saying about the election, and join the conversation!

Images of the federal election candidates with party hats and balloons.

Voting is a blast – just ask these guys! All pictures via Wikimedia Commons (Mulcair, Trudeau, Harper, May).

2. Roll up with a posse.

What’s cooler than voting? Voting with your friends and family! Bring along a group of pals and vote together. Matching sunglasses optional for added suaveness. The more people you bring to the polls, the better! Plus, if you vote on election day, you can all head over to someone’s house after to watch the results over some much needed post-voting sustenance. For extra awesomeness points, whip out some themed decorations, or themed snacks – for example, Green Party green smoothies, NDP orange delicacies like Cheetos and Doritos, Justin Trudeau angel hair pasta, and Stephen Harper hot sauce (not a comment on his looks, weirdos – according to the Globe and Mail, the man loves hot sauce!).

The University of Toronto Students Union suggested a really fun way to invite your friends to vote with you with their #VOTEPOSAL campaign! Watch the video below and share your #VOTEPOSAL pictures on social media.

3. Show off your proper voter ID.

You have to bring proper photo ID with you to vote – don’t forget it! Elections Canada has instructions on their website. When you get there and they ask for it, whip out your proper voter ID like a boss and pass go to the voting booth without any hassle.

4. Bask in the glory of exercising your democratic right to vote.

You voted! You participated in democratic process! Tweet it, Facebook it, or Instagram it with the hashtag #UofTVotes – share it with the world and have a personal dance party as you leave the polling station. Watch the results roll in knowing that your voice is being counted!

An image of a piece of paper that says "I am voting because" where students have written down reasons: child care, climate change, new blood in office, income gap, our voice, freedom for everyone, speaking up, education, my ancestors never had this privilege, happiness,I want a government that does not prioritize "old stock Canadians", fossil fuels, the refugee crisis, public transit, science

Why are you voting? Share your reasons in the comments below or post them on social media with the hashtag #UofTVotes.
Image courtesy of the #VotePopUp campaign.

You can vote on campus on October 19 at Hart House, the Wolfond Centre (36 Harbord St.), and the University-Rosedale Returning Office (316 Bloor St. West), or at any Elections Canada office or designated polling station. Learn more about the elections on the Elections Canada website.

danielle

Danielle is the summer 2015 Communications Intern at the Office of Student Life. She wrapped up her undergrad this year and will be entering a master's program at U of T in the fall, studying in the Faculty of Information. She previously studied English and Jewish Studies with a minor in History. Danielle studied abroad twice, in Jerusalem and Berlin, did a service learning course, and did a few work-study positions. Her favourite part of her undergrad was working at The Varsity, the campus newspaper. She was the editor-in-chief in her final year. She's passionate about good writing, student journalism, reading, knitting, long walks (on the beach or otherwise), and table tennis, which she insists she is very good at, though her friends may not agree. You can reach her on twitter @lifeatuoft over the summer if you want to chat!

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