Brigette DePape, students “Storm the Dorm” to rock the Oct 19 vote
Bridget DePape and her gang of youth activists are on a democratic war path. Objective: To dethrone Stephen Harper during the 2015 federal election.
On Wednesday, the Youth Vote Campaigner with the Council of Canadians and the activists engaged in the first of a series of planned cross-country “Storm the Dorm” events aimed at boosting youth voter turnout during the October 19 election.
During the event, held at Simon Fraser University, the activists educated students about the importance of voter participation in the democratic process, and urged them commit to voting on October 19.
“The only way to make real change is if you actually do something about it,” said DePape. “Voting is an essential step to get the government you want.”
Other “Storm the Dorm” events were scheduled for Dalhousie University, Concordia University and the University of Toronto. You can sign the Council of Canadians’ “I will vote” pledge here.
DePape first rose to national prominence in 2011 when she marched onto the floor of the Senate holding a sign that said “Stop Harper“, and briefly disrupted the government’s throne speech.
According to this Facebook event page, the “Storm the Dorm” campaign will transform young people in Canada into “the GameChangers that nobody saw coming.” About time.
During the voter suppression-riddled 2011 federal election, nearly 2 out of 3 young (18-24) people did not vote. That’s about about 1.8 million of the 9,434,184 eligible voters who didn’t cast their vote. The Harper Conservatives won 54.22 per cent of the seats in the House of Commons, and 100 per cent of political power, with only 39.62 of the vote. They took Etobicoke Centre by 26 votes.
Latest polls have the Conservatives trailing both the New Democrats and Liberals. Still, it’s too early to write Harper’s political orbituary.
The Conservative Party has a gargantuan war chest. During the last session of parliament, the Conservatives recently passed the so-called Fair Elections Act, an anti-democratic piece of legislation that makes it hard for students, Indigenous people, the poor and immigrants to vote.
DePape believes that increased youth turnout will save the day on October 19.
“Despite the Harper government making it harder for us to vote, young people are going to be the game-changers nobody saw coming,” she said.
Earlier this year, DePape led the Get Out the Youth Vote initiative, which is part of the Council of Canadians’ democracy campaign. The campaign was supported by ShitHarperDid, the Canadian Federation of Students, LeadNow, and Apathy is Boring, and other youth-oriented organizations and movements.
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