Speaking With Newfoundland and Labrador’s First-Time Voters

By Jason Sheppard

It is once again federal election time across Canada and candidates from all parties are entering the final stretch of meeting and greeting the voting public before they head to the polls on Oct. 21. As with every election, there will be those who have been through the process before and there will be many individuals who are voting for the very first-time. The Newfoundland Herald wanted to hear from a few of our local first-timers and in their own words, discover which issues are personally important and concerning to them. 

LIBERAL – 18-year-old Danielle Taylor:

“I will be voting Liberal my first time voting. I will be voting for my local MP Nick Whalen and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who have both shown a concern for our planet and equality. Recently, Nick gave out reusable bags at The Regatta and even more recent reusable bag that say “Pick Nick bag.” Both men have expressed support to those of the of LGBTQ community, for example, walking in the Pride Parade. Little actions like those show that there will be bigger actions to come, regarding our environment and support. True Liberals show a deeper understanding and charismatic way. They are the party for the people. One man that has shown me what a true Liberal stands for is Dr. Hubert Kitchen. While in politics like many other Liberals, he did amazing work, but it didn’t just stop when he left politics. True Liberals always care. Kitchen’s wisdom to help everyone in need in anyway you can, no matter what the circumstance. He has also taught me that we are all equal and a true Liberal is a beautiful person. Values of equality, a cleaner future for our planet and many more, is why I’m voting Liberal.”

NDP – 21 year-old Cassidy Barry:

“I voted NDP because I felt that our candidate (Jack Harris) really does have the new age demographic in mind with his goals and promises. He seems to be the candidate most willing to listen to his voting audience. Definitely the entire parties discussions of eliminating student loans and implementing more grant programs! I’m a student so that’s something that would take a huge weight off my – as well as many others shoulders”

THE GREEN PARTY – 20 year-old Luke Battcock:

“My name is Luke Battcock, I am a 20 year old first-time voter, and in this election, I will be voting for Greg Malone, Green Party Candidate for Avalon. I am voting Green because they are the only party that’s focused on a sustainable approach to governance. Our economy is in trouble, and the cost of living continues to rise here. Traditional industries like the fishery continue to decay, while prospects for newer industries like oil and gas seem bleak without a plan for future management. We have watched as government after government sells out our local communities and our resource rights for short term power or profit. It’s time for a change. We need a government that will treat our vast resource wealth sustain-ably. Climate change is the defining fight of my generation, and only the Green party has a plan that is in line with the science of stopping it. This may be the first election I can vote in, but it is the last one where I can vote for meaningful climate action. We are already feeling the impacts of climate change in this province and around the world, and it will soon be too late to do anything about it. The Green party gets it. They also want to do politics differently, and it is refreshing to see a party that focuses on ideas and values instead of attacks and power grabs. Like many young people, I am concerned about my future and the future of my beautiful home. On October 21st I’m voting for the best vision I can see for that future, I’m voting Green.”

THE PEOPLE’S PARTY OF CANADA – 21 year-old Patrick Brown:

“I’m voting for the People’s Party of Canada led by Maxine Bernier and the reason I’m voting for them is because I believe that they’re the only principle alternative to the two major parties and I support their tax policy. I really like their veterans policy. I think their plan to balance the budget in two years is very fiscally responsible. I like what they’re going to try to do with the Indian act and repealing it and giving it more autonomy to reservations and what not. I like a foreign policy that helps us work with our allies but not get involved with foreign conflicts unless it’s in our best interests.”

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