Election 2021: Here’s what these Canadian kids care about

Published 2021-09-08 11:58

What makes a good political leader? Three kids share their opinions

These three Canadian teens aren’t old enough to vote, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been paying attention to the election.

Roman Wolfi, 14, Noor Al-Omeri, 14, and Darrion Singh, 16, are following the federal election campaign, which wraps up on Sept. 20 when Canadians 18 and over head to the polls to vote.

None of these teens has picked a particular political party or candidate to back, but they’re all involved in advocacy in their communities.

CBC Kids News asked them to talk about the issues they care about most, the country’s political leaders and the future of Canada.

(Image submitted by Darrion Singh)

About Darrion

Darrion’s top three election issues:

What Darrion wants to see in a good political leader

(Image submitted by Darrion Singh)

Q: What issue is being ignored during this election campaign?

“I definitely think that an issue that I haven't heard a lot of is Indigenous rights. So how will we be addressing the water crisis, how will we be creating suitable reserves for living? So I do think that has been one of the issues that has not been touched upon as much as the others.”

Q: Your thoughts on calling an election during a pandemic?

“I do think that during a pandemic, there would be some barriers, but I do think it might be in the best interest to have some sort of election to change the balance of Parliament, and that might actually benefit us in the future.”

Q: What is your ideal vision for the future of Canada?

“What I do want to see changed in Canada is pretty much a lower cost of living ... especially considering that university is in two years and I will have to figure out how to pay for tuition.”

Also, “I definitely see Canada playing a major role in green energy in the future.”

(Image submitted by Noor Al-Omeri)

About Noor

Noor’s top three election issues:

What Noor wants to see in a good political leader

(Image submitted by Noor Al-Omeri)

Q: Your opinion of the current political parties and their leaders?

“I don't really have major opinions about them. I think that they're all pretty much very similar.”

Q: Why should kids and teens who aren’t old enough to vote care about the election?

“We should understand about politics so that when we reach that age, we're not really clueless.”

Q: Why should adult politicians care what kids think?

“If, for example, a certain leader doesn't care about the youths’ opinions on a certain topic, when these youth will be eligible to vote, they're going to know that that person didn't really care about their opinions before, so therefore it will affect that politician.”

Q: What is your vision for the future of Canada?

“I want to see people be more inclusive and have the ability to get their mind off of things. Like ... Islamophobia and housing and job opportunities, I want them to not be on alert so much, just, like, to be peaceful, more peaceful.”

(Image submitted by Roman Wolfli)

About Roman

Roman’s top three election issues:

What Roman wants to see in a good political leader

(Image submitted by Roman Wolfli)

Q: Your reaction to an election being called during a pandemic?

“I was a little bit excited personally because I'm always excited when things happen in politics, but at the same time, when I turn off my own personal excitement about it, I realize it's probably not the wisest thing. You know, we're going into this rather unprecedented or unexpected, unpredictable time of the pandemic with this fourth wave [of COVID-19].”

Q: Why should politicians care about kids' opinions?

“I think one of the failings of the kind of democratic system that we have today is that they don't really have an incentive to care because they don't need our votes. So, from a technical level, they have no reason to care what we want. But from a moral level, they have an imperative to listen and care about what we think about because they don't just represent our parents and our adult teachers. They do represent us as citizens of Canada, as equal members of this society.”

Q: What is your vision for the future of Canada?

“To build a society that is more equitable, not by tearing groups down, but by raising groups up and I think the future is bright for this country. It might seem turbulent at times, but it's all a bump on the road to greatness.”

What about you?

Share your thoughts about the election in the poll below:

Have more to say about this topic or something else in the news? Email us at cbckidsnews@cbc.ca.

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Images submitted by Noor Al-Omeri, Darrion Singh and Roman Wolfli. Graphic design by India McAlister/CBC

Was this story worth reading?