My name is Simka Marshall. I’m a geography student at Douglas College, a member of the Ahousaht First Nation and a young voter. And today, I have a message for my peers.
Young people - don’t let older generations tell you you don’t vote.
My generation doesn’t have the luxury of being apathetic.
We’re graduating with thousands of dollars in debt. We’re likely to be life-time renters and we’re watching our earth and climate change dramatically.
But we’re also the generation of change.
We’re at the front lines of protests, we’re giving countless volunteer hours to important causes, and most importantly — we are organizing.
This fall, us young voters are going to make history by voting in a new electoral system that means fairness, representation, and accountability.
I’m voting for pro rep because I’m tired of watching political parties promise change for young people and never deliver.
And I’m especially tired of watching political parties win false majorities with less than 50% of the vote.
This spring Doug Ford’s government won 100% of the power in Ontario with just 40% of the vote.
That’s not fair. It’s not democratic. And it happens all the time with our current voting system, first past the post.
It happened in New Brunswick last month where the party who earned the most votes didn’t win the most seats. And a few weeks ago, it happened in Quebec.
This is politics as usual, and it is outdated and unfair.
Young people have shown that when we come out and vote we can influence the outcome of an election.
Just look at the federal election in 2015, youth voter turnout surged by 24% in BC alone. And our numbers only grew in the last provincial election.
Young people are engaged, we are aware, and we are active. We know what’s on the line. And we want in.
Pro rep can make that happen.
Pro rep is, quite simply, a better way to vote.
Under pro rep each party receives the same number of seats in the legislature as the percentage of votes they get.
That means rural BC, interior BC and northern BC will be well represented.
That BC’s diverse communities will be included in the political process, regardless of which party is in power.
That MLAs will be empowered to put their constituents — and not party bosses — first in their decision making.
And most of all, it means that young voters like me and my generation, will be inspired to turnout and vote so we get the say we deserve in the decisions of our government.
When people say pro rep is a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity - they’re talking to my generation.
Because it’s us, our energy, and our votes that will make it happen here in BC.
So, if you believe it’s time for an electoral system that works for everyone; and if you believe young people deserve a voice in government; and if you’re ready to work hard to make it happen this fall in BC; then please vote for pro rep AND DEAL US IN.