23 Quebec microbreweries band together to remind young people to get out and vote
Breweries trying to spark political conversations over a pint ahead of election
A group of Quebec microbreweries are making a special effort this election season to serve up drinks they hope will encourage younger voters to head to the polls.
Stéphane Ostiguy, co-founder and co-owner of Dieu du Ciel bar and microbrewery in Montreal's Mile End, came up with the idea as a way to remind voters of their civic duty and spark conversation over a pint.
Dieu du Ciel and 22 others have agreed to name a beer "Moi Je Vote" (I'm Voting) until the election on Oct. 21, so when people order the drink, they have to say they're voting out loud.
Ostiguy said that among 18 to 35-year-olds, people "have strong beliefs, but they don't really vote."
However, "if they vote en masse, they could really change the outcome of the election."
Canadians between the ages of 18 and 38 represent upwards of 37 per cent of the electorate this year.
It's actually the first year that everyone in the millennial age group born between 1980 and 2000 will be able to cast a ballot.
In 2015, turnout among voters aged 18-24 jumped over 18 percentage points to 57.1 per cent, compared to just under 39 per cent in 2011. The Liberals took the lion's share of votes among 18- to 29-year-olds.
Ostiguy isn't concerned about who people are voting for — he just wants to see those turnout numbers increase.
When he contacted other microbreweries with the idea, he was surprised by the amount of support and offers to join in.
The initiative started at Dieu du Ciel Wednesday night, and Ostiguy is hoping it will spark conversations about politics among his patrons.
"The goal is really to make people think about why they should vote and who they should for. I think everyone should vote according to their strong beliefs," he said.
"I think we don't talk enough about politics overall in Quebec, and in Canada, but I think it should be part of our regular conversation. ... We should get used to it and not be afraid of talking about it."
With files from Antoni Nerestant