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How To Get Politically Involved

November 2, 2021

The 2021 election has come to a close, let’s talk about political engagement. When an outcome isn’t exactly what we want, it can feel like democracy has failed and your voice isn’t being heard. However, political participation is CRITICAL for the progression of our country towards a more inclusive society. As the youth accounts for over 40% of eligible voters in this past election and will only be growing for the next election, here is the article will highlight some of the ways that Ontario Tech students have made their voices heard!

4 university students at a political rally

Get Involved with Political Groups

As a Political Science student, I am always trying to find ways to get others involved with politics. At the end of the day, even if you don’t care about politics- politics care about you! From eating breakfast to attending lectures, all aspects of life are covered under the lens of politics. The way I get politically engaged is by interacting with youth-focused, non-partisan political groups such as Future Majority, Shake Up the Establishment and Raise Your Voice. Each group works in different ways; Future Majority focuses on getting the youth involved in politics, Shake Up the Establishment strives to educate on environmental issues and Raise Your Voice looks to teach the next generation how to start their own political activism.

- Angelique Dack, 4th-year Political Communication 

Engage with Politics with an Open Mind

I have always strived to be as engaged in politics as I can! Within Ontario Tech, I have devoted a lot of time to joining politically outspoken clubs (e.g. WUSC, BIPOC, Raise Your Voice) and attending politics-related events (e.g. seminars on long-term care crises). Outside Ontario Tech, I have signed up for a number of small jobs within the political realm (e.g. poll worker for federal election). All this being said, you certainly do not have to be a politics-lover like me to get involved! The very willingness to engage with politics will surely provide you with knowledge/perspective you may have not had before - it’s always worth it! I recommend talking to some Social Science and Humanities professors to help you get started with your involvement journey on and off-campus.

- Norah Nowarah, 3rd-Year Political Science

Work with Local MP's

From a young age, I have always been quite involved in politics. Seeing the joy on my cousins' faces back home when the last dictator stepped down and announced elections was a moment I'll never forget. I firmly believe that our vote can bring a change and that the first important step is to go on the polling day and cast your ballot. The way I get politically engaged is by reaching out for opportunities in my area. In the past I have worked for a local candidate running for MP in my area, it was a great learning experience on how much effort and work needs to be done to have people hear your voice. I have also worked for elections Canada where I helped organize the ballot boxes from different districts. Recently I attended an NDP rally by being part of the Raise Your Voice project to promote political advocacy from a neutral standpoint. I believe that for one to get politically involved, you have to be active in your community and always be looking for opportunities as you never know the perfect opportunity might be waiting for you!

- Haider Bajwa, 2nd-Year Computer Science 

Educate Yourself on Current Political Issues

I have been involved in politics actively since high school and have always stood up for my political beliefs. This year was my first time voting and it was such an exciting opportunity to finally have my vote count and matter. Over the years I have advocated for many different issues through a political lens. More recently working with MyHijabMyRight, I helped run a discussion with Sameer Zuberi, the Liberal MP for Pierrefonds—Dollard, to talk about the issues with Bill 21 in Quebec. As one of the co-presidents of Enactus Ontario Tech (along with Angelique Dack) I help manage Raise Your Voice to advocate for youth political literacy. I like to keep myself educated on issues happening in Canada and worldwide to see what myself and others can do to help, but also see how we can push our local politicians to take action. Everything that we do relates back to politics and many people’s mere existence is political, it’s important to educate yourself and others to vote, take action and speak out.

- Haiqa Tahir, 3rd-Year Mechatronic Engineering