Volume 94, Issue 38

Tuesday, November 18, 2000


Homeless get a vote

Hate crimes committee bolstered

Better youth turnout a goal for elections

York U. strike could be over soon

UPD urges students to call Foot Patrol

Campus Briefs

Quirks and Smirks

Ontario labour law questioned

Missing triplets spotted in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Planet Me

Better youth turnout a goal for elections

By Chris Lackner
Gazette Staff

Party leaders are preaching policy, but students appear to be tuning out.

Pierre Blane, manager for media relations at Elections Canada, said less than 50 per cent of eligible voters between 18 and 24 years of age tend to vote in federal elections. For the upcoming election campaign, Blane said only 25 per cent of first time, eligible voters have registered with Elections Canada.

"The first challenge is to reach a person," he added. "Our publicity and advertising this year is more focused on young people."

He said Elections Canada advertised the election on youth oriented stations such as MuchMusic and contacted student and youth associations to help raise voter awareness.

He said other initiatives include the creation of a link for young people on the Elections Canada Web site, as well as placing banner advertisements on other Web sites frequented by youths.

David Robbins, communications co-ordinator for the Centre for Social Justice, said young people feel alienated from the main issues being discussed by party leaders, such as tax reduction and economic reform.

Despite apathy at the ballot box, he said students are searching for ways to influence politics outside the electoral system, including an increased youth involvement in political activism.

Scott Belton, governmental affairs commissioner of the University Students' Council, said the USC hopes to ensure Western students understand the education platforms of the major parties.

He said a mass e-mail will be sent out to students containing election information, as well the promotion of the campaign around campus through TV Western and the USC Web site.

On Thursday, at 3:30 p.m. in the McKellar Room of the UCC, Belton confirmed a candidate meeting for the riding of London North Centre will be held for the benefit of students, adding a question period will be provided for those students in attendance.

"Students do have power," Belton said. "Because of our huge numbers, we can make a difference in an election."

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Copyright The Gazette 2000