Future Majority hopes to encourage youth voting in Canada

Photo Credit: Elections Canada

Photo Credit: Elections Canada

Future Majority is a new group on campus looking to increase voter turnout amongst young people in the federal election this October.

Founded in 2018 by a group of young people looking to make a difference, Future Majority has already taken Canada by storm. They have organizers from Victoria to St. John’s, who plan to speak to approximately 80,000 young people at university campuses and elsewhere about the importance of voting this fall. The organizers will walk 30,000 people to the polls on election day with a dedicated group of paid staff and volunteers, all under the age of 32.

“It’s been really good since I’ve been here [at Brock University]. So far I’ve had 220 people pledge [to vote] in the week I’ve been here,” said Keke Cekota, the Organizing Fellow for Brock University with Future Majority.

“I think the best part of it for me is that when I’ve sat down with some people they didn’t know an election was coming up, and after a five minute conversation they know when it is and they have pledged to vote.”

Cekota explained that the organization chose its name in reference to the size of the Millennial and Generation Z voting bloc.

“What [the name] is trying to get across is that millennials and generation Z’s are the biggest voting bloc, we outnumber baby boomers which is crazy to think. We are the majority and we are going to be around so we should come out together under that identity and vote now and in future elections.”

Cekota feels that young people have largely been left out of the national political conversation due to the historical lack of youth turnout. The goal of Future Majority, according to Cekota, is to increase voter turnout so that the issues of young adults will be taken more seriously and more adequately addressed.

Cekota also hopes to shine a light on the complexities of voting and the Canadian political system.

“The Canadian political system is not user friendly and we want to bridge that gap and make politics and elections more inclusive, accessible and the voting process more understandable,” said Cekota.

The first major step is with the launch of the Future Majority app in the near future, which will allow students to view information about voting, Canada’s electoral system, the parties and their platforms and more.

Some issues that Cekota has heard during her short time on campus so far have included the climate crisis and student debt and affordability, which she hopes may become non-partisan (all party) issues in the near future.

“Non-partisanship often seems out of reach, but I personally think that climate change transcends party because that is not an issue that care if you are a Conservative, a Liberal, or a New Democrat or Green, it’s a human issue. But also being able to afford to live somewhere and be comfortable and not be stressed about rent every month, that is what a lot of us are worried about.”

Their focus on the environment is no secret, as they are largely funded by the David Suzuki Foundation, the Ivey Foundation, which gives money to climate-based groups and Environmental Defence Canada, in addition to small dollar donations.

As someone who was turned on to advocacy and youth engagement with politics following the Ferguson Unrest and the emergence of Black Lives Matter, Cekota hopes that she can convince more young people to become engaged with politics and voting.

“The Samara Centre for Democracy came out with a report which found that young people are more civically engaged than older people overall, they protest more, go to more town halls, are organizing on the ground more, they just haven’t engaged with voting and so that’s what we are trying to encourage,” said Cekota.

Cekota will be on campus until election day, which will either be on or before October 21, so be sure to talk to her about government, the election and voting if you get the chance.

You can find Future Majority on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @VoteFutureMajority. Additionally, Brock University will also have a polling station on campus on election day.

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