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Making your vote count

Ivana Pelisek | Interrobang | News | October 6th, 2008



The Federal Election is fast approaching and the candidates are coming to you.

As a running candidate for the Green Party, Dan O'Neail will be on campus at The Out Back Shack Monday, October 6 at noon promoting his party and all they stand for.

Originally from London, O'Neail knows all too well the great things this city has to offer and he hopes to speak primarily with students discussing issues he is passionate about.

“I am hoping to engage the students which is incredibly important to me and get them to vote for someone they believe in,” said O'Neail. “Whether they vote for me or a candidate from another party, I will continue to be here for the students.”

With voter apathy still high among young voters, Fanshawe has taken steps to ensure more students will make it to the polls this election.

“Elections Canada will be on site October 7 -9 with an information booth, handing out brochures on how to register to vote,” said FSU Operations Manager, John b. Young, who has worked in the past to bring voter awareness to the campus. “They will have a polling booth in the Student Centre on the election day October 14 from 9:30 am — 9:30 pm to allow only the eligible Canadian full time students in Fanshawe's two residences to vote.”

“I find it hard to get students motivated politically in their futures,” said O'Neail.

Fanshawe College is also hosting a debate involving political parties from the London-Fanshawe riding, including O'Neail, NDP incumbent Irene Mathyssen, Conservative candidate Mary Lou Ambrogio and Liberal candidate Jacquie Gauthier.

The debate will take place at Forwell Hall on October 8 during the noon hour.

this time all the parties running will be speaking on behalf of their preferred party and taking your questions. This will be a time for the parties to advocate why they are your best choice.

“If you give me a better idea than what is written down in the [Green Party] platform, I will change it,” said O'Neail.

“Students often feel alienated from the process; they feel that politicians don't talk about the issues that matter to them,” said Fanshawe Political Science Professor Matt Farrell, who is organizing the debate on October 8. “For example most of the major parties have platforms that involve tax credits or other income based incentives. If you are a student-working part time, and not paying any substantive income tax, this isn't going to resonate with you. As a demographic youth voting tends to lag behind others. Politicians know this and they tailor their message accordingly.”

Which may explain the voter apathy that is so high in the eligible student voting population.

“The democratic ideal is predicated on the free and open exchange of ideas. If some viewpoints aren't represented — students for one example - then I think the entire process suffers,” said Farrell. “An active and informed citizenry strengthens democracy.”

There are numerous ways in which a person can choose to participate and vote.

One way is by going to an advanced poll.

If you are 18-years-of age on Election Day you are eligible to vote for your preferred party. Be sure to bring with you the following:

- One original piece of government-issued identification containing your photo, name and address (driver's license)
- Be sure to show two original pieces of identification that are authorized by the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada. Both id's much include your name and one must contain your address (health card and hydro bill)
- Swear on oath and be vouched for by an elector (for example a neighbor or your roommate) who happens to be on the voters list in your polling division.

The elector who vouches for you must also swear on oath.

Students are encouraged to come out and vote.

“The vote you cast today is going to create the future you inherit,” added O'Neail.

For further information regarding the election or how to submit your question for the candidates to answer feel free to email the editor of the Interrobang Diana Forbes at dforbes@fanshawec.ca.
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