Three young voters talk about the power of voting for the first time | Alberta Elections 2023

Three young voters talk about the power of voting for the first time | Alberta Elections 2023

Three young voters talk about the power of voting for the first time | Alberta Elections 2023

Three young people voting for the first time in Alberta share what matters to them in the May 29 election. Left to right: Peace Angheche, Kael Robichaud and Arudra Singh.

While voting for the first time can be scary or intimidating, Peace Angheche, Kael Robichaud and Arudra Singh, three young Albertans, who just turned 18, are pretty excited about making their choice at the ballot box.

The latter, met in Calgary, are following the election campaign and intend to make an informed choice that respects their expectations of the main political parties in the race: the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the United Conservative Party (UCP).

Here are the words of Peace Angheche, Kael Robichaud and Arudra Singh.

Probably the most important issue for me is health care. Both parties are talking about it right now. Will it be free? Won't it be free?

I would like the person who wins the election to have a better perception of our community and to come to public places and community centers, so as to become almost a friend to us .

Arudra Singh says he feels responsible enough to vote.

I want to hear them talk more about what we want. That candidates come to these places to interview maybe 10 or 15 people and ask them what they really want. People are sometimes shy and feel that these candidates are too much above them and they don't want to talk. They feel like nobody cares about their voice.

When it comes to voting, it's a big responsibility. A lot of people, like my classmates and friends, turned 18 and I asked them: Are you going to vote? They tell me: No, I'm not going to vote.

It's their choice, of course. But I feel like they have a responsibility, a say in the government and how things are going to happen. So we should take advantage of it. Just do a little research and maybe find an intriguing topic. I encourage everyone, especially first-time voters, to do a quick Google search and vote.

What matters most to me? Mainly to see more community-based things, like learning spaces for kids and teens. As I can see in my school, young people are going through very difficult times. We need places where we can go and have more freedom to learn things and have fun too.

Peace Angheche is happy to know that his vote will count for his first election.

I want politicians to be very genuine in what they say, nothing fake, trying to bring good expertise into society. This is all the more important since this is where I live. This is where I grew up, this is where I've been for a long time, 10 years. I want the future to be brighter, not just for me, but for all other children.

Voting is hard. It used to be something my parents did, but now I have to consider what's good for me, what I want to see in government, and what I want to see in my community. It's exciting to be able to use my vote.

It's very exciting, especially since I turned 18 a few weeks ago. Now I can make my voice heard alongside that of my mother or a neighbour. It's very stimulating and it's a great source of inspiration.

I hope other people will feel inspired to use their own voice, because I feel like that's something we're missing here. Many people are afraid to show their true opinions.

Kael Robichaud, who votes for the first times, thinks it's great that his voice now counts just as much as those of his mother and his neighbor.

I would like parties to talk about improving school systems or changing the voting system because I feel like there is no not been the best, given our previous election decisions.

I hope there will be a lot more support for children with special needs. Not just children, but young adults and all people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) so that they have support, be it financial, mental health or a teaching aide, someone to be by their side.

A few years ago full funding was removed for programs I would otherwise have been eligible for, but since I am not a typical ASD, I am not eligible for the program.

With information fromKelsea Arnett