The millennial vote goes deeper than surface level politics

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Despite being over two years away from the 2019 election, the debate surrounding candidates and their appeal to young Canadians already seems to revolve around who is the trendier choice. But millennial voters deserve more credit than that.

According to a CBC article, millennials and Generation X will represent two-thirds of Canadian voters in 2019. For the first time, millennials will have the largest voting bloc in Canada, meaning the young vote will be more important to win than ever before. 

That being said, arguing that young voters will be easily swayed to vote for the most stylish choice is an oversimplification of this generation’s interests.

Newly elected NDP leader Jagmeet Singh became a trending topic across social media when a video of him peacefully dealing with a racist heckler at one of his meet and greet events went viral. It made Singh an overnight household name in Ontario and Canada. 

However, It’s an oversimplification to assert that this was the only reason Singh won the NDP leadership. It’s equally naïve to assume he’ll be a strong competitor for the millennial vote in 2019 simply because of his social media presence.

This isn’t the first-time Canada has had a young charismatic leader with a progressive platform. When Justin Trudeau was campaigning in 2015 he won over younger voters with a left leaning platform that promised change. Two years later, he has yet to deliver. 

Along with a lack of policy changes, the broken campaign promise of electoral reform has left many young liberal voters feeling duped after the 2015 election. Following the Trudeau governments failings, millennials will need more than a great PR campaign from Jagmeet Singh to really be convinced to vote NDP in 2019. 

There’s going to be some hesitation to jump on board with a candidate who seems as perfectly appealing as Trudeau once did. Because Singh hasn’t yet proven himself as an effective policy maker, it’ll be difficult for millennials as a whole to trust his campaign promises will be kept. 

It’s time to give young people in Canada a bit more credit when it comes to how they vote. They’ve had time to learn from the disappointment of the Trudeau government and will likely be cautiously optimistic when it comes to Jagmeet Singh and the National Democratic Party. 

Having a Snapchat account isn’t going to be the way politicians swing young voters, authenticity is. 

— Journal Editorial Board

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