By: Patrick Leclerc

I don’t know about you but when I hear that elections are coming up, I immediately become anxious. This anxiety isn’t fear by any means, it’s more an unsettling feeling that nobody really knows what they’re voting for. The most recent elections seem evident of exactly that.

Many students seem to be voting without knowing what they are supporting. Students may vote for one side merely so that the opposing side does not get into power.

For example, there are those claiming that they will vote for literally anyone but the current premier, Kathleen Wynne. The issue is that, as far as I’ve seen, that nobody has been doing their research. I’m not advocating that you should all go out and vote for Wynne, I’m arguing exactly the opposite of that.

We should all be doing our research. A quick search would even suffice to an extent. Every party’s political platform ends up online relatively quickly after they announce that they’re running,

For a democracy to work well, everyone should vote. As far as this, we shouldn’t vote for someone just because we don’t like the other candidates. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve met many people who say they’ll vote for the opposition of a certain party just because they don’t agree with the party in question. This could lead to politically inept people being put into power or you could be voting for someone whose actual policies you don’t agree with.

These kinds of things happen because people don’t look up policies, or maybe because some students don’t understand why one vote matters. Though the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance has been working on projects that help students understand the importance of voting and how to do so, at this time, election awareness along with these campaigns should be increased. When students don’t understand why their vote matters or for students who are not accustomed to voting in Canada how voting happens, we lose some valuable voices of students in politics.

We should all be doing our research. A quick search would even suffice to an extent. Every party’s political platform ends up online relatively quickly after they announce that they’re running, though there are many issues with researching a party platform online.

I believeone of the biggest issues of them all is clickbait. By clickbait, I’m mostly talking about titles of articles that can be misconstrued. I’m sure I’m not the only one whose looked at a juicy title of an article and made an assumption based on the content of a poorly supported, but sometimes convincing article.

Unfortunately, clickbait is where a lot of voters’ “political knowledge” comes from. The best way to avoid issues like this is to go directly to the party’s website or any official Canadian government website. I know it sounds tedious, but I think the only way for voters to get an actual stance on who they’re voting for is to interpret a party’s policies by themselves, without any biased sources to change their minds.

Biases are an increasingly evident issue in media as far as I see. As mentioned earlier, the media tends to overblow their titles. Specific outlets even have evident political biases. Fox News, for example, is inherently Republican, which though many us know this, some do not. These sources tend to focus on the personalities of politicians instead of important matters like platforms and policies. Media sources should be showing voters the things they’re voting for and not the personality presenting it.

I guess what I’m trying to say is to go out and vote. Do your research, understand what you want and vote for that. Don’t find yourself voting for a personality or because you don’t like the opposition. Democracy is fair when everyone votes for who they believe will be the right person to lead them.

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