To the editor,
Re: Bring on proportional representation in B.C., Letters, June 7.
Despite a long history of student participation in activism and government, for years – perhaps decades – the youth vote in Canada and the province has been underestimated. This has resulted in party platforms not including vital student issues such as interest on student loans and the ever-increasing cost of post-secondary education. However, this could dramatically change with the coming referendum for proportional representation in the fall. If PR is implemented, this could bring more voices to the table that highlight the issues affecting previously marginalized groups such as students and indigenous peoples.
The 2015 federal election saw 57 per cent of voters aged 18-24 turning out, which was up 18 per cent from 2011 and the largest increase of any age demographic. It is clear that young people want their voices heard within government.
With it becoming increasingly clear how intersectional student issues are – moving beyond education affordability to issues of housing, mental health services, and the environment. These are issues we all share as a community. Therefore, it makes sense to have a system of government that is able to bring multiple perspectives and voices to the table.
With the recent release of information about what the ballot will look like, now is the time for everyone to become a student – learn about how each system works, ask critical questions (like who is against PR and why?), and make an educated decision about how our government functions for us.
Chantelle Spicer, chairwoman, VIU Students’ Union
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.