Students prepare to cast their vote

By  Valeria French, Youth Speak News
  • October 3, 2008
{mosimage}TORONTO - As the federal election approaches, students cannot help but think about how their input will affect the way our government will run.

Julian Noble, an eager first-time voter and student at the University of Toronto, said it is important for him to know what a politician stands for.
“To be successful in any job you must have somewhere to base your faith, and from there, you can determine who you want to be,” he said. “Do they want to be the lying politician who makes promises and breaks them and not feel bad about it or do they want to be the one who works for the good of our overall society by taking into account how many out there have next to nothing?”

Noble said he expects politicians to lead through their own faith — and this means bringing God into the debate on important issues.

“Every decision they make affects hundreds of people in such a diverse country such as Canada,” he said. “This means faith in God should, in my eyes, be considered at every level in the government when dealing with any and every topic that comes across their desk or is brought up in the House of Commons.”

He added that making a final decision on who is best suited for the job is a hard task, but in the end he trusts that the right person will end up in a position of leadership.

When it comes to getting to know the candidates, some students have worked for or campaigned on behalf of some of the parties, or attended events on campuses across the country so they could learn more about or meet the candidates in person.

Marie Alliston, a student at Toronto’s Ryerson University, said she has done what she can to inform herself, including attending an NDP rally in Toronto, researching the parties online and even reading about politics in her textbooks.

“It does seem as though we take on much more responsibility once we reach the voter’s age since those of that particular group have never voted before,” she said. However, creating a mockup debate in class may be what it takes to get more involved with politics for many students, she added.

When it comes to faith, Alliston agrees that politicians should keep their beliefs in the forefront.

“I can see where faith would come into play in politics because at the end of the day, whoever is making the decisions need to know that they made the right one without having to think twice about it,” she said.

Other students would rather know how and why politicians make the choices they do while being assured that they will make the right choice since it is related to what they value.

Christianne Millen is a student who is very much concerned with the outcomes of decisions made in Parliament on a variety of issues.

“I do not feel the need to ‛belong’ to a particular party so long as that party makes ethical choices for the present and future in addition to proving to me that they have a strong foundation, they will attain my vote,” she said. “Of course they may not always make the most popular decision but if it is deemed the right one then they are to be admired for doing that.”

Millen and other students who consider faith a valuable asset in politics want to see it well used when considering ethical issues such as marriage, abortion,  euthanasia or assisted suicide, among many possible topics.

(French, 21, studies human resources at Centennial College and theology at the University of Toronto .)

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