As adults, we sometimes wonder what is going on with our youth.
We wonder whether they are serious and committed enough to face the hard world they are going to inherit from us.
Just like previous generations did about us.
And luckily, the world is in good hands.
If you have any doubts, one doesn’t have to look very far to see examples of young people who are doing good in our community.
For example, in this issue, you will see the names and faces of Barrhead Composite High School students who are excelling not only because of their talent but through their hard work and determination.
Or how about the students from Fort Assiniboine, Clyde, Busby and Pembina North Community School who demonstrated not only their concern of the state of the world and our country, but the depth of their understanding through the questions they asked during an all-candidates debate on Oct. 8 held as part of Elections Canada’s Student Votes initiative.
We must admit, we were a bit surprised by the questions students asked the candidates.
Unfortunately, in the past when we have attended these types of events, we wondered if many of the questions students asked were planted by adults.
So kudos to not only the students but their teachers. We are also pleased to see how engaged the students are in the political process.
In the preamble to the forum, Fort Assiniboine School teacher Pauline Payne said one million students are expected to vote in mock elections across the country.
If only we could get adults to be so engaged.
Since the 1990s turn out in federal elections has been dismal. Basically, for the last thirty years, voter turnout has ranged from between 60 and 68 per cent.
Not that voter turnout was ever that great at the best of times. The highest voter turnout for a federal election was in 1958, 1962 and 1963 when it was in the 79 per cent range.
Quite frankly, there is no excuse that the voter turnout numbers shouldn’t be constantly over 80 per cent. In Canada, there are very few things we ask citizens to do, but one of them should be to participate in the electoral process.
Yes, we understand it is easy to become disillusioned. Our first past the post system allows a party to win, theoretically, with a minority of the vote. As a result, many people feel their vote is wasted, so why bother. Which is why we have been such a strong proponent of getting rid of first-past-the-post.
However, regardless of what voting system Canada ends up using, citizens need to take part in the process.
Past generations have sacrificed much, even giving up their lives, so you can have the opportunity to have a say in who your government is. Don’t take it for granted. See you at the polling station on Oct. 21.