PUBLIC POV: A Voting Guide for Millennials

In the upcoming Ontario election on June 7th, 4 million Millennials will be eligible to vote — 37% of the electorate.

With that kind of weight in determining the outcome of the election, it’s odd that Millennials are hesitant in exercising their basic democratic right: 51% of Millennials say they lack enough information “to make an informed decision” at election time.

That’s bizarre: this is probably the most tech-savvy and educated generation in western history and they don’t know enough about the issues or the candidates who will form Ontario’s next Parliament?

There may be several reasons Millennials feel uninformed: too much uncertainty about politics right now, too many policy choices, too little time, or — maybe — too little interest in the candidates and how to choose the lesser of several evils.

Whatever the reason, voting is still the most effective single action you can take to influence our collective future. And, if you want to change the world, you need to take the first step.

Here is Public’s handy guide to making an informed decision for the upcoming election:

  1. Take the voting compass quiz to see which party may be most compatible with your beliefs
  1. Read the parties’ platforms to get a clearer understanding of their priorities:
  1. Stay on top of the news:
    • Read/watch/listen to more than one news source to get different perspectives on the issues. (Most news outlets even have apps)
      • Toronto Star (progressive/left)
      • Toronto Sun (populist/right)
      • Globe and Mail (centrist, trending right)
  1. Get involved:
    • Understand how the candidates in your riding plan to bring their party’s platform to life:
      • Subscribe to their newsletters to find out their latest events
      • Attend events hosted by the Liberal, Progressive Conservative, NDP, Green, and other candidates and speak to them or their staff on their current plans of action, or their values
      • To support one of the candidates, consider volunteering
  1. Have conversations with family, friends, and colleagues about your thoughts and ask them for their views.

Here are some election basics:

  1. Who can vote:
    • 18 years of age or older
    • Canadian citizen
    • Resident of Ontario
  1. Who to vote for:
    • Liberal
    • Progressive Conservative
    • NDP
    • Green
    • Other
  1.   What is being voted for?
    • Your vote is for a registered candidate in your electoral district (riding) to represent you as a Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. There are 124 MPPs – one for each riding in the province. This contributes to electing the Premier of Ontario, as it is the leader of the political party that has the most candidates elected who forms the government (that’s right, you don’t vote directly for the Premier).
    • Role of an MPP:
      • MPPs voice the concerns of the citizens in their riding. They are influential in making decisions that affect the government services in your province and your city, ultimately, by passing laws for the Province.
    • Role of a Premier:
      • A Premier leads the policy direction and the management of the provincial government.

  1.     Where to vote
    • Voting locations for advance voting and voting on election day are based on citizens’ residential address. You can find out where you vote here.
  1.   When:
    • Voting day is on June 7th
    • Voting before election day takes place from May 10th to June 6th
  1. How:
    • E-register:
    • Receive Voter Information Card (VIC) in the mail
    • Bring your VIC to your polling location
    • If you didn’t receive a VIC, don’t worry, you can still vote. Just bring a valid ID with name and address (e.g. Driver’s License) and piece of mail that shows your home address (e.g. phone bill).
    • Note: if you can’t vote in person you can still mail in a special ballot before June 7
  1.  For more information:

Start researching and get ready to vote!

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