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Fresh music video plays to youth apathy

We the North
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As part of its campaign to encourage young Canadians to vote in the upcoming federal election, OPSEU’s Provincial Young Workers Committee has released a provocative music video featuring its signature song, Don’t Vote. Performed by Ottawa-based band Arms of the Girl, the catchy, upbeat tune uses a strong dose of irony to hit home the need for youth to resist the temptation to apathy when it comes to exercising their democratic rights.

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The video is a key element in the #Don’t Vote campaign, which was launched on September 1 at OPSEU’s annual International Youth Day Conference. Alarmed by the steep decline in the number of young voters, Provincial Young Workers Committee members identified a need to create a multi‑platform, non‑partisan campaign that would engage youth in the political process. The campaign uses a mix of good‑natured sarcasm, edginess and fun designed to resonate with young Canadians who feel they have no political voice.

According to Elections Canada, 61 per cent of Canadians voted in the 2011 federal election. However, only 39 per cent of Canadians aged 25 and younger cast a ballot, leaving the choice of government largely in the hands of older Canadians. As a result, young people are increasingly ignored by those aspiring to political power, while issues of importance to youth – such as excellent public services, a clean environment and affordable tuition – barely register during election campaigns.

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU, is convinced that a campaign targeting political apathy among youth is absolutely necessary. “Younger Canadians support the things the labour movement has consistently fought for: excellent public services, good jobs, equality and justice. The more this election unfolds, the more I see the urgency of motivating young Canadians to get out and cast their votes.

“I’ve said it before, and I will keep saying it until October 19: the most important thing that young people can put on their resume is that they voted in the 2015 federal election.”

For more information:

Warren (Smokey) Thomas
613-329-1931

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