You probably like having a say about how late you can stay out and who you can hang out with — wouldn't you also like to help decide what kind of world you are going to be living in? You may be too young to vote, but you're not too young to care, or to have an impact on this election.
Do you believe we need to address climate change, save endangered species and protect our forests? Do you want clean air to breathe? Although the federal government may seem far removed from your daily life, the reality is it has a huge impact on things you care about. In this election campaign, each political party has proposed different ways of approaching and addressing environmental issues. By voting, every adult in this country can have an impact on how this country deals with those issues and what your future will be.
Yet in the last election almost half the adults around you did not vote — didn't take the time to help plan your future. You need to let them know that voting is a way to show they care about you and the environment you will live in.
So the next time an adult asks you to clean your room, or how you're doing in school, or what's cool these days, change the topic and ask them whether or not they plan to vote in this election. Better yet, have that conversation with every adult you know, and let them know who you'd vote for and why.
You can figure out which party's platform most closely aligns with your vision for how we should be living on this planet by answering the questions in an interactive tool called VoteCompass. You can also find out what each candidate in your riding thinks about the environmental challenges we face by asking them these questions. Ask your teachers if you can review each party's political platform in class, and even organize a mock leaders debate and mock election.
By doing any of these things you can have a profound impact on the election, not only by increasing voter turnout, but by shaping the outcome of the election. Even the most cynical or stubborn adult will find it difficult not to be moved and swayed by an informed, passionate, young person supporting a particular candidate or party. Make sure the adults around you know your generation has a unique stake in the election, and ask them to help you elect a healthier future.