Friday, April 18, 2014
There is a new law being proposed known as C-23. It is a massive election reform law. Among the things it does is require ID instead of allowing Canadians to use their Voter Information Card as they've been used to, raises donation and campaign spending limits, and eliminates programs that educate young citizens about voting in their schools.
One such program is called Student Vote. Serving over 3,000,000 students across Canada, this is a program that provides learning materials to coincide with elementary, middle, and high schools having their own version of elections. Not only do the students learn about the candidates, voting process, and political parties, they can actually participate as poll workers and officials.
Canada has a similar problem as the United States in low turnout among it's young people. This program has encouraged more young people to vote. Not only that, 60% of parents reported an increased interest and knowledge of politics themselves when their children were involved in the program.
Check it out for yourself. There are many more good things about this program:
So now, let's ask the question. Is it a coincidence that voter suppression laws are becoming the new trend for fall not just here in the United States but now in other countries? I don't think so.
It's time for people to wake up. They are attacking our democratic process to the point where a recent study from Princeton University has classified the United States as an Oligarchy. In case, like me, you were only vaguely familiar with this term, it means we have a government that is run by a few people or by a powerful class or group. They aren't just stopping at eating away at our rights here in America. The people who want to continue to hold power by taking it away from others appear to be going global.
It's more important now than ever that we inform people of what's going on. So many people are unaware and many are not prepared to vote because they are confused about the process or feel they don't have enough information about the candidates. We take for granted that people will automatically stand up and fight to preserve our rights, but we can't do that. The fact is a lot of people don't even know these things are happening. Even if they do know what's happening, they may not know the candidates feelings about it.
As far back as I can remember, I've participated in Scholastic's student election. I've always colored in the map as the election results came in. I've always watched the news and read. These were habits I started very early, not because anyone forced me, but because I saw it as part of what people just DID and I always had ways I could be a part of it. Elected representatives in Canada are looking to take these kinds of opportunities away from their young people. North Carolina has already taken opportunities away from our young people.
Stand up. Ask your elected representatives and candidates how they feel about promoting democracy among our young citizens. If they are for taking opportunities away, like they are trying to do to over 3,000,000 kids in Canada and as they have done with the removal of pre-registration here in NC, we have to make them answer for this. I wouldn't have known about what was going on in Canada if someone had not shared that information. What information do you have to share today?