PC landslide but students like NDP
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | June 14, 2018|
If you’re a numbers nerd, and I kind of am, it’s interesting to look at the figures from the recent provincial election in HaliburtonKawartha Lakes-Brock.
And, I don’t just mean how many votes each candidate and party received but the official election results compared to the CIVIX student vote last week.
By now, we all know that Laurie Scott and the Progressive Conservatives won what amounts to a landslide in the riding.
Scott got 32,605 votes, or 56.7 per cent of all ballots cast.
Next up was Zac Miller of the NDP, with 15,209 votes or 26.5 per cent.
They were trailed by the Liberals’ Brooklynne Cramp-Waldinsperger, at 5,688 votes and just shy of 10 per cent.
That’s how the 18-plus crowd saw it.
So, what about the students?
The Student Vote Program is organized by the national registered charity, CIVIX. It’s available to all schools in Canada at no cost. CIVIX ships out print and online teaching materials, posters and election supplies to registered schools. On the day of the vote, a few students take on the role of deputy returning officers and poll clerks, while others cast ballots for the official election candidates. It doesn’t count but it is an opportunity for students to not only experience the voting process but also inform themselves about parties, platforms, current issues, the government and the electoral process.
It also gives the rest of us a snapshot of what young voters are thinking and what this might mean for the future of voting in our area.
Locally, Haliburton Highlands Secondary School and J. Douglas Hodgson Elementary School took part.
In their case, the landslide went to the NDP. At the high school, nearly 46 per cent of those who voted opted for student candidate Zac Miller and his party’s platform. At JDH, it was 40 per cent.
Back to the high school and the PCs got a little over 23 per cent of the vote while the Liberals were at 12.5 per cent. Other parties, such as the Greens, Libertarian, Consensus and None of the Above, polled a high 26 per cent-plus.
At JDH, 20 per cent went Liberal, 13.55 per cent PC and nine per cent Libertarian and Green.
So, what does this mean?
It means young people seem to prefer the values and platforms of a New Democratic Party over the traditional blue-red swing we see in provincial politics. The PC riding association here could choose to rest on its laurels – after all, it was a slam dunk wasn’t it? But it might ask itself some questions, too. For example, why do young people seem to be attracted to the NDP, Greens and other parties? Why are youthful candidates, such as Miller and Cramp-Waldinsperger, gravitating away from the Progressive Conservatives?
Of course, there are plenty of young PC party members across the province. But, at campaign headquarters in Lindsay last week, there were many more young people at the NDP and Liberal HQ’s than the PCs.
It used to be the baby boomers determined election results in this province and riding, but the millennials are starting to make their mark, too. And, as we can see from students at Hal High and JDH, some can’t wait to officially make their mark in the 2022 provincial election and beyond.
It’ll be interesting to see how this trend affects the local riding, and the province, going forward
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.