"Screwing the Vote" is Not the Answer "Screwing the Vote" is Not the Answer

By: Rachel Marsden

It's democracy, liberal-style. Canada's Liberal government-sponsored Canadian Broadcasting Corporation--also known as the CBC, or more affectionately and accurately, as "The Corpse"--has come out with a message for all potential young voters out there who may be thinking about exercising their right to vote in the next election: don't even bother. The "Screw the Vote" campaign consists of a website (www.cbc.ca/screwthevote) and a TV special that's set to air on May 7th.

The website's message is about as subtle as a smack upside the head with a two-by-four. It instructs youth: "Don't vote. It doesn't matter", and "Finish this sentence: I don't vote because..." The site is rife with depressing voter stats: "The last four elections have elected majority governments, and at no point did the ruling party receive more than 33.1% of eligible voters...The highest percentage of rejected ballots in Canada was Joliette, Quebec with 4.9%" (can I get a "who gives a damn?")..."86% of Canadians believe that politicians lie to get elected"...and "in the last federal election, 25% of eligible voters cast a ballot supporting the elected party."

Liberal logic never ceases to amaze me. A caption on the CBC website reads, "If earnest and well-meaning appeal to youth are met with cynicism, will the irony of a counter-campaign tempt young people to get involved?" Yeah right. And will food poisoning from a burger at a particular fast-food joint tempt me to keep running back there every day for lunch? It's the political equivalent of throwing in the towel, firing up the bong, and flopping down on mom and dad's couch with a bag of Doritos after your 2-month job search has "got you all bummed out, man." Then again, liberals are big fans of dictators like North Korea's Kim Jong Il and Cuba's Fidel Castro--both who would certainly agree that voting is a very bad idea. If these are the types of societies liberals are striving to engineer, then they're definitely on the right track in terms of their messaging.

In the USA, only 42% of young people ages 18-24 bothered to vote in the last presidential election. In other years, the number plummeted even further. In Canada, the figure is even more dismal, with a mere 26% of young Canadians bothering to exercise their democratic right. In the US, young voters comprise 8% of the general electorate, and in Canada they wield 18% of the voting power. Given that the last election in the US was a horse race that ended up having to be decided by a Supreme Court vote, whichever party that proves itself capable of mobilizing and energizing that 8% would be guaranteed victory. Similarly, in Canada, judging by current polling figures, the 18% youth vote would be enough to vault even the third-place party into governance. The reality is that if young people voted as a block in either country, the power to shape the direction of their country would rest entirely in their hands. Unfortunately, it's no easy task cutting through the mindless propaganda put out by ignorant "screw the vote" liberals and the marketing geniuses at the Urban Outfitters clothing company who recently came up with the brilliant, socially-responsible t-shirt that declares "voting is for old people".

Youth vote stats are indeed pretty dismal, but leave it up to a bunch of liberals to screw things up even more by actually trying to address the issue in any way. I would propose that the reason why the youth vote is so pathetic right now is because, in both the Canada and the United States, the educational system (from kindergarten through to graduate school levels) is rife with pointy-headed, left-leaning types spewing the venomous liberal doctrine of victimhood into impressionable young minds. Expressing a conservative point of view can result in hate speech accusations, as was the case when, last October, a conservative student newspaper at Rhode Island's William Rogers University was accused of hate speech and de-funded by the school for opposing the pro-homosexual views of two guest speakers on campus. Similarly, it's why university students have been known to protest and boo appearances by conservatives like author/commentator Ann Coulter when she dares to offer an alternative point of view from those by which youth have long been indoctrinated. At Gonzaga University in Washington State last year, conservative students promoting an upcoming speech by author Daniel Flynn (author of "Why the Left Hates America") were accused of hate speech by the university merely because they reproduced the title of Flynn's book word-for-word. Apparently, liberals only value free speech when it expresses a liberal point of view. And when it comes to conservatives, censorship is a great thing--if not absolutely mandatory. These same types who are all gung-ho on the concept of racial diversity and affirmative action, are staunchly opposed to any sort of intellectual diversity, except within a very narrow, liberal spectrum.

Young people of high school and college age who have been able to put down the purple Kool Aid long enough to break away from the leftist indoctrination and seek out a different point of view on the world have generally found out that a shift to the Right isn't merely a "slide" down the political spectrum, but rather an "ascention" to something far better, common-sensical, and socially responsible. I should know. Having attended Canada's most liberal university for my undergraduate years, I was someone who had her own eyes pryed open. Conservative organizations such as the National Journalism Center (which I personally attended and which boasts a list of graduates including Insight Magazine's John Berlau, author Ann Coulter, commentator Debbie Schlussel, ABC News White House correspondent Terry Moran, BBC News anchor Peter Coe, and Radio America syndicated talk host Greg Corombos), the Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute for young women, the Reagan Ranch Foundation, and the Young America Foundation provide an important counter-balance to the overwhelming left-wing propaganda with which young people are bombarded by default.

The Youth Vote 2004 Survey report by Princeton Survey Research Associates found that messages emphasizing the importance and impact of a single vote go much further in encouraging youth voting than negative messages like that of the CBC. It's up to any party that wants to capitalize on these findings to find a clear, consise way of delivering these positive messages that encourage not only voting, but also active involvement in the democratic process.

As US President Ronald Reagan once said, "Freedom isn't secured in any one moment of time. We must struggle to preserve it every day. And freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." It's hard to believe that people who would counter that wisdom with such brilliant bumper-sticker slogans as "screw the vote" are the same ones who are constantly calling conservative greats like Reagan and George W. Bush "stupid". And here's another t-shirt idea for the Urban Outfitters people: "Screw liberals. Vote."