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This year I got involved with a campaign on my university campus – a new experience for me, since I’m a rather quiet person who has typically shied away from activism of any sort. Despite having a passion strong enough to overcome that, I honestly did not have much faith in our cause succeeding. The odds were stacked against us and a number of other people I spoke to, including a few others on the campaign team, felt equally as pessimistic as I did. I was totally surprised when we won, by quite a large margin in fact.

Events like this within the microcosm of a university campus can really mirror what goes on within Canadian politics. Many young people feel disempowered, and I don’t blame them, considering we are not often encouraged to exercise our rights and freedoms.

Take a minute, though, to think about an ideal world in which casting your vote, encouraging others to vote, or just talking to your friends about an issue that interests you can actually make a difference. Think about how it would feel to know that your contribution lead to something as life-changing for millions of people as who forms our next federal government.

That’s not just an ideal world, though; that’s possible in our democratic society. My involvement in our campaign wasn’t substantial, but teaming up with a group of other passionate young people caused real change to happen where I think it would have been nearly impossible otherwise. Our contributions matter and I can see that much clearer now than I did before. I encourage you to find your inspiration like I did and become empowered as a citizen. Do something that seems small, like voting, and see where can take all of us.

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