Again the subject of voter turnout has made international news. The U.K referendum to either ‘Remain’ or ‘Leave’ the European Union was won by the ‘Leave’ campaign by a margin of 51.9 percent.
With such a close vote and so many unknown factors in play, it has been fascinating to see the reactions on social media and in traditional media formats.
Many young people are upset with the results, saying that the older generation is tampering with the lives of future generations. But, by looking at voter turnout statistics, it’s easy to prove why voter turnout is very important in ensuring the desired democratic result is achieved.
I took the liberty of looking over various statistics on the Financial Times website and saw some interesting points of focus.
Generally, turnout increased by age. Areas in the United Kingdom with younger populations, had a lower turnout than populations with a higher average age. Interestingly enough, university towns such as Oxford and Cambridge had high turnout relative to age, while the city of Glasgow had a small turnout for a city that has a lot of youth.
The fact remains, if turnout had been higher by the younger generation, it’s influence would have been much greater, regardless of whether it was for the ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ side. The older generation have been through these things before. I believe they have learned from years of voting, that if you want something done, there is no other way to see your desired result if you do not show up at the polls.
These are the sort of issues I have been touching on within my column. Young people desperately need to be more involved with politics and the world around them. We cannot just sit around and expect things to happen. This is why democracy exists, but it cannot work if your vote is not counted. There is a process. Change is possible, but only when you participate.
The vote to leave the European Union is a complicated one, with many factors at play. It will be years until we know whether the U.K. is better off on their own. Both sides have very compelling arguments.
Sometimes, it seems like no matter what happens, nothing will change. This was not one of those times.
As a Maple Leafs fan, I don’t really have anything to look forward to until the NHL Entry Draft on June 24. Picking first overall is a huge step in the right direction. Other than that, and the continued development of a few young studs, there just isn’t much to be excited about. Maple Leaf fans around the world, had to watch another post season without a horse in the race.
But, today was different. Today, I woke up with a smile on my face. It wasn’t because next season is that much closer, or because I can finally forget about hockey for a few months, it was because I got to see Phil “The Thrill” Kessel hoist the Stanley Cup.
In fact, I saw it over and over. I stopped counting after the 15th time I watched the video of Kessel lifting the Cup. What a fitting end to, what was, the Phil Kessel in Toronto saga.
After the media ripped on Phil for the better of 7 seasons, Phil was traded from Toronto to Pittsburgh, and the media all got to laugh about how hotdog-eating, non backchecking, lazy, fat, overpaid Phil Kessel was discarded from the Maple Leafs organization.
In the end, Phil got the last laugh. The trade worked out perfectly for both teams. Toronto got to start over with a fresh slate, and Pittsburgh got a goal scorer they badly needed.
At first it looked like Phil wouldn’t fit. He struggled playing on a line with Crosby and Malkin, but later on, found his home alongside Nick Bonino and Carl Hagelin. I will give the media some credit. Phil is a much more complete player now, then he ever was in Toronto. He began playing a lot more defense, skated back when he had to, and even started to body check. I never thought I’d see the day.
I believe Phil was able to improve because he had leaders like Crosby and Malkin to, not only take the pressure off him, but to instill a level of effort and teamwork he had never experienced before, and boy, did it ever pay off. I could swear Phil had the loudest and most excited celebration lifting that cup.
Take notes Maple Leafs. Pittsburgh is an example of how an organization can flourish when you place pieces in their correct slot. For far too long, the Maple Leafs were trying to squeeze a square peg into a round hole. Phil was never meant to be a leader on that Maple Leafs team. Phil was under a lot of pressure to perform, and contrary to what some critics think, he did perform. Kessel consistently put up 30 goal seasons for the Leafs and stole us many games in the process. He is the definition of a role player and that is how Pittsburgh used him.
Pay back can be sweet, and I can’t help but smile when I think about, how the awkward, kindred, Phil Kessel can now add Stanley Cup winner to his list of achievements. I just wish it was in a Leafs sweater.
Are we pro pot or are we against it? That is the question. Recently in the news, I have noticed medicinal marijuana dispensaries around Toronto have been getting shutdown and charges laid against owners and various store employees through a sting operation known as Operation Claudia. 43 locations were raided and 90 people were charged.
I understand where the Mayor, police, and city staff are coming from with these raids. Most of these stores popping up everywhere downtown Toronto are quick-cash grabs. They are treading in a very grey area of the law and just want to make a quick buck while medical and recreational marijuana laws are in limbo. A drug dealer setting up a brick and morter store to sell pot is not legal and never has been; for now.
Not long ago, the federal Liberal government promised to introduce a bill to legalize recreational marijuana throughout Canada by the Spring of 2017. This limbo in pot laws is causing all kinds of problems.
Many people took advantage of the announcement and opened up illegal medical marijuana dispensaries hoping that law enforcement and the city of Toronto would turn a blind eye and just wait until the new laws came into place; and both did; for a short time. As soon as the Mayor was alerted to just how many illegal pot shops were operating, he ordered the city to issue cease and desist notices which in turn led to the last week’s raids. The other side of the argument is that there are very legitimate patients that use marijuana as a form of medicine to treat various ailments. Many of these patients have now been essentially forced to turn to the streets to attain their medicine because of limited medical dispensaries. Both the mayor and protestors are urging the government to do something about this limbo in laws. It doesn’t make any sense to promise legalization and then at the same time start arresting everyone for something that is supposed to be legal in 10 months.
Patients are suffering, tax payers are paying for useless trials, and the police are being viewed in a negative light once again. Make up your mind.