6 kids, 6 parties: Why these kids are election volunteers
Each kid supports a different Canadian political party
You have to be 18 years old or older to vote in a Canadian election, but that hasn’t stopped these Canadian kids from getting involved.
CBC Kids News spoke to six kids from across the country who are campaigning for one of the six main federal parties.
That means they’re helping local candidates by handing out flyers, posting signs and going door to door to talk to community members, in the hopes of getting more votes for their preferred party on election day.
Keep reading to find out why each of these kids supports the party they do, and what it’s like volunteering for a federal election campaign.
(Editor’s note: This article was organized alphabetically, according to the name of the political party.)
Q: What have you been doing to help with the Bloc’s election campaign in Montérégie?
“My goal is to get people from the area involved, to campaign in each riding and to host events for young people, where we have discussions and share ideas.”
Q: Why is it important for young people to be involved in politics?
“Politics is the best way to change things; to be more ambitious than we thought.”
Q: Since the Bloc doesn’t run candidates outside of Quebec, the leader of the Bloc, Yves-François Blanchet, could never be prime minister. Who do you want to see as prime minister?
“I won’t decide who will be prime minister. What’s important to me is to defend the interests of Quebec.”
Editor’s note: Florent’s interview was translated from French.
Conservative Party of Canada
Q: Why should young people who aren’t old enough to vote care about the election and about politics?
“Well, I think it's something that’s important because they make decisions for us and that we should get involved in at a young age, before we’re able to vote, so that we could learn more about it before we’re old enough to vote.”
Q: Why do you think Erin O’Toole is the best choice for prime minister?
“I think that he is upfront and he doesn’t beat around the bush. I think he's what Canada needs right now.”
Q: What issues do you wish Canada’s politicians would pay more attention to?
“I think that the economy is a very important issue that needs to be talked about. I also think about increasing military spending, so that instead of relying on other countries to protect us we are able to defend ourselves.”
Green Party of Canada
Q: What has the campaign volunteering experience been like?
“It’s a really, really fun thing to do. I’ve learnt a lot from everything we’ve done. I’ve improved my social skills with people. “
Q: What’s it like supporting a smaller party, knowing your leader won’t be prime minister and watching the Greens’ poll numbers go down?
“It's going to go up and down. But the more that we do, you know, the more that we, I guess, advocate and grow our campaign, the more that we're heard.“
Q: What do you think of Green Party leader Annamie Paul?
“I think she is the best candidate because she not only held herself together at the debate, but she’s also spoken out about really important topics. She is extraordinarily straight up. And she talks about what actually needs to happen in the Green Party if the Green Party got in and what her first priorities are.”
Liberal Party of Canada
Q: What did you think when you heard that the Trudeau government called an election?
“I was happy because it meant more opportunities for me to go out and go door knocking and phone calling. I think a lot of people are upset because they think that [Trudeau] called it for his own personal reasons, but it had been talked about for months that an election was coming because of the minority government, so I think it was the right choice.”
Q: What has your experience canvassing been like, especially out in the community?
“Generally, everyone's really nice. They're always really shocked when they see me knocking on a door. They're like, ‘What? What is someone this age doing that for?’”
Q: What’s your advice for other young people interested in politics and the election?
“I would say to other young people, ‘Get involved,’ you know, get involved, even if you think it's scary. There's many opportunities. It's not all talking to people that you don't know. There's lots of different things that you could do. So get involved and learn about our Canadian political system.”
New Democratic Party (NDP)
Q: Why should kids care about the federal election?
“Kids have to care more than adults because we have to live with the outcomes longer than adults. With no vote we can only educate and be loud about topics that are important to us.”
Q: What do you think about more women MPs, like Kaila Mintz, in Ottawa?
“It just helps to get other women to enter politics, and more women helping and doing more for women's rights. I think that's a really good thing.”
Q: Why would NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh make the best prime minister, in your opinion?
“Jagmeet Singh would make the best prime minister because he is the youngest person running. He also knows what it is like to be a person of colour in Canada. Jagmeet Singh lived in Newfoundland for part of his childhood, which makes it hard to ignore Atlantic Canada.”
People’s Party of Canada (PPC)
Q: What’s it like volunteering for the PPC?
“I like it a lot because I think it's good to get that voice out there, for sure. I think the People’s Party is still somewhat small at the moment. We are growing, but there’s still a crazy amount of people who, when I show up at the door, they're like, ‘Oh, it’s the People’s Party, right?’ So, I think it's really, really, extremely important for us to get out there.”
Q: Some PPC supporters have been accused of getting violent at protests. How does that make you feel when you hear that?
“I 100 per cent support the protests. Where I would draw the line is there's no need to get violent. It doesn't get us anywhere at all. Of course, it's really hard to hold back and it's understandable to have those feelings but acting out on them is not the correct way to go.”
Q: After the election is over, if the PPC doesn’t win many or any seats, do you still plan on being involved with the party?
“Yeah, like, win or lose, I'm going to still be with the People's Party. I don't think there's any alternative out there, in my opinion … And I'm really happy to be a part of this kind of membership I have with the People's Party.”
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TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Images submitted by Aislinn Main, Isaias Nolasco, Florent Sabourin Lefebvre, Jaden Segal-Braves, Juliette Colbourne and Matthew Hannah, graphic design by India McAlister/CBC