Worried youth voters might find solace in new B.C. party

New B.C. political party, BC Ecosocialists, promise more left and green policies

Youth at the climate strike in Vancouver, B.C.. Photo by Liam Hill-Allan.
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Reported by Gina Rogers

With young voters making up the largest voting demographic in Canada, a new provincial political party launched this past week — directly catering to youths.

The total percentage of Canadians who voted in 2019 went down from 2015. While the number of young voters was not available for the most recent election, statistics show they climbed 18 per cent from 2011 to 2015. The October federal election left many students unsure of the future, especially about the environment and the planet they will inherit.

New provincial party hopes to fill gaps

“Young people see that if we don’t solve the climate crisis, we cannot solve the affordability crisis,” Stuart Parker, BC Ecosocialists spokesperson said.

The BC Ecosocialists say they want to offer a solution to young voters who are students.

“We have to get back to a properly funded system… it means taxing the very rich right here,” said Parker, who was a Green Party leader prior to the launch of BC Ecosocialists.

Langara political science student Dayla Hart said she was dissatisfied with the federal election but wasn’t surprised with the results.

Hart believes in eco-socialism but views the BC Ecosocialists as an awkward middle ground between entryism and grassroots organizing.

“But with the benefits of neither,” she said.

Hart used 24-year-old NDP candidate Yvonne Hanson as an example of effective entryism and grassroots organizing, using an established party to present new leftist ideas.

“They actually have a chance of winning,” Hart said.

Innovative promises

Stephen Phillips, political science department chair at Langara, said that the BC Ecosocialists want housing to be declared a social right and the government to become more involved in building housing.

“No other party, not even the NDP has gone that far,” Phillips said. “So that’s a message that I feel might resonate well, particularly with younger voters.”

Parker believes that the platform BC Ecosocialists is offering something Canadians have been wanting.

“I think Canadians have been really short-changed,” Parker said. “We decided to do this because we knew there’d be an appetite for it.”

The next provincial election  is on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021.

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