Young and restless: millennial voters tired of political bickering

Voters line up at the University of Regina on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019. 111,300 cast their ballot in on-campus advanced voting across Canada prior to Election Day. Photo by Jasper Watrich.

The 2015 election may have been the longest election in Canadian history, but to millennial students at the University of Regina, 2019’s felt like forever.

“I can’t wait to get it over with,” said Noe Morin, who studies creative technologies at the U of R.

And he wasn’t the only one that felt like that.

“A lot of bickering between the Conservatives and Liberals, it’s getting pretty old, pretty tired,” said engineering student Austin Waldron. “It’s a lot like the States in bickering between their two parties.”

Abacus Data, an Ottawa-based research firm, projects that millennial voters will be the largest block of voters for the first time ever in the 2019 federal election. But while millennial students have been voting – 111,300 voted in on-campus polling nationwide – many stated negative campaigning was the most prevalent thing to come out of this election period, which is being hailed as one of the nastier in Canadian history.

“I think there’s too much attacking of the politicians, of the people running, and not really what they’re standing up for,” business student Lauren MacPhail said.

One student was able to draw a positive, but quickly countered it.

“The more humourous stuff of Jagmeet Singh has been a positive of this election, but it’s mostly been Conservatives and Liberals slinging mud at each other,” said arts student Jordyn Landry. “Honestly, I kinda feel it’s been pretty Americanized … it was a lot of negatives, a lot of misinformation, and not so much people coming out and being, ‘Hey, this is why I’m better,’ it was rather, ‘He’s worse than me.’”

And Waldron’s sentiments were similar.

“They’re just trying to slam the other party, and say that, ‘We’re the better one,’” he said. “That’s pretty silly to me.”

While the disdain for negative campaigning was high, Ethan Butterfield, a journalism student, displayed a small amount of optimism not heard from the others.

“I’m hoping that the story’s going to get switched around, where there’s actually a difference that’s being made with what’s being said as opposed to just a bunch of empty hollow promises as usual.”

Ultimately, Morin felt that despite the bickering between party leaders, it was still his generation’s responsibility to know what each party was promising, and what each party was planning to act on.

“I understand that it’s our generation, the millennial generation, being the current and biggest one, that this election is really in our hands for the most part, and so we need to be the most educated,” Morin said.

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