Why AU Students Should Vote in the Federal Election
As many of you know, there is a federal election on September 20, 2021. AUSU has been busy hosting events and sharing information on how to vote, ensuring students have the resources they need to cast a ballot. You might be wondering why your students’ union is so interested in encouraging students to vote, and that’s a really good question!
As your Vice-President External, my job is to advocate for AU students to the government (usually provincial and federal, but sometimes municipal). That means part of my job is asking government officials such as Members of Parliament (MPs) for meetings to discuss major issues facing students. Counterparts from other university students’ unions and I collaborate to collectively pressure the government to help students. At those meetings, I request the MPs change laws, create new laws, or create programs to better serve students, providing documents and other written collateral to help them speak for change to other members of the government on behalf of Canadian students.
You’re probably wondering how that’s connected to voting. It’s simple! Politicians want to be elected and re-elected, which means they prioritize meetings and actions that please voters. When politicians see students as a group with a high voter turnout, it helps get us meetings and elicit action on your behalf. So, even if you’re sure the election won’t go your way in your riding, it’s important to vote so that the high student voter turnout drives better policies for you as a member of the student body.
Any Canadian citizen 18 years of age and over can vote, and you don’t need to be registered in advance – you can register when you arrive! There are many different options for providing or proving your ID, so if you don’t think you have the appropriate ID, you can still vote. Information on voting with or without ID can be found here.
So, on September 20, be sure to get out and vote!