After a gruelingly long two-year term, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has triggered an early election for September 20, facing off against Conservative leader Erin O’Toole, New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh, the guy from Quebec, and whoever is leading the Green Party at this point in time.
With students returning back to the classroom, they are also having a hard time figuring out who to vote for and where to vote. Citing both Covid and their own laziness, Elections Canada has decided to not set up voting locations on post-secondary campuses. This decision has forced thousands of students to begin a pilgrimage back to their home addresses to vote. Because nothing says proper public health measures than forcing thousands of people to travel back and forth across the province. Experts agree that the election result could hinge on the youth vote. The Medium spoke with several students to see how this generations’ perspective is fairing.
First, we caught up with Conrad Murphy, the President of University of Toronto Mississauga’s Campus Conservatives and a third generation Trudeau hater. “I like O’Toole’s honesty. Even his name is honest to his character,” Murphy said. “He may be a tool, but tools get stuff done! I mean, they may be selfishly serving their own interests at the cost of sacrificing the working class, but that is still technically getting stuff done!” We asked Murphy if there was any chance he’d vote for the NDP, to which he scoffed, “I’d rather be Trudeau’s Attorney General than vote for someone who gets votes through TikTok.”
While Trudeau remains a polarizing figure, some are hesitant about voting in the Liberals for a third term.
Linda Lisbon, a fourth-year psychology major, gave us her perspective of Trudeau’s electability. “I’ll be honest, I did vote for Trudeau last time. I was just trying to avoid having to look at Andrew Scheer’s face, and to be fair, it did work.” Lisbon explained to The Medium, “But now, I just don’t find Trudeau that cute anymore. I mean yeah, the Covid beard was pretty hot, but it made me think, what is he hiding? More scandals and corruption? A bigger budget deficit? His jawline? I’m not sure who or what a SNC-Lavalin is, but all I know is it doesn’t sound good. I just don’t know who to trust anymore.”
While some students may not be riding the Orange Wave, some students are “Singh”-ing praises for the NDP. The political party is most often seen as the underdog in Canadian politics, but with socialism slowly on the rise among youth, they may have a chance in the polls. We caught up with Maria Cortez, a member of the NDP Socialist Caucus of U of T, and a volunteer for the NDP campaign.
“Singh has everything you would want in a politician—trust-worthy eyes, an awareness of the issues that are truly impacting Canadians, and a hip, cool presence on the internet,” Cortez said. “The last year and a half have shown us just how dire everything is. A national health crisis, provinces on fire, so much unrest and unhappiness. Honestly, none of the leaders are perfect. No one party or person is going to save us from the mess the Liberals and Conservatives have put us in. But if I’m going to be poor and homeless because of an affordable housing crisis and climate change, I’d at least like to have universal dental care and Pharmacare.” Cortez takes a moment and wipes a tear from her eye. “And let’s be real. Its 2021. Singh is far more attractive than Trudeau at this point, both in the polls and in the mirror.”
While the party leaders dominate national headlines, we asked a few more students about the local nominees in their riding.
“Who?” said Luke, a third-year anthropology major.
“Uhhhh, the red one?” said Aliyah, a first-year CCIT student.
“My neighbour has a sign in his lawn for the Liberals, and the lady has a nice smile so I might go with her,” said Peter, a fifth-year philosophy major.
One student only responded with, “Go Pink!”
With polls still too close to say, the result of the election could be anybody’s best guess.
Will it be Pretty Boy Trudeau, Buff Baby O’Toole, Sensitive Singh, or could we end up with a Pink Prime Minister?