(Ottawa) Young members of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) hope to influence their party’s future policies on issues important to their generations, such as the difficulty in accessing housing, in order to better repel the electoral threat posed by the Conservatives by Pierre Poilievre.
“Unfortunately, the numbers show that a lot of young people are with him,” said Young Liberal president in Guelph, Ontario, Mustafa Zuberi, of the new Conservative leader.
The 22-year-old Liberal, who was in Ottawa on Thursday for the start of the LPC National Convention, is among the organizers of the “Mayday” movement aimed at attracting more young people to their ranks.
“Mayday”, or “M’aider” in French, refers to the alarm call that airplane pilots or ship captains can send when faced with an impending disaster.
Prime Minister and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau made a passage at a roundtable held Thursday afternoon by the Young Liberals of Canada, one of the first events of the National Liberal Convention.
He told them, in a brief address, that they are among the most ambitious members of the PLC, an attitude that is welcome to address people’s many concerns.
“We have to think about what’s going to work between now and the next election, how to get people who are worried now […], but we also have to think about where we’re going to be in 10, 25 and 50 years , insisted Mr. Trudeau. And you young liberals bring that perspective all the time. »
Access to property is an issue that Mustafa Zuberi would like to see at the forefront in the coming years. “Myself, as a young person, how am I going to be able to afford a house?” We’re here to talk about that,” he said.
One of the thirty or so resolutions that will be debated and voted on during the three days of the convention concerns access to affordable housing.
Among other things, the proposal calls for 20% of all federal housing funding to be “dedicated … to youth ages 30 and under.”
When taking power for a first term in 2015, Mr. Trudeau promised to review the voting system, a promise he then quickly dropped.
Peter Brennen, an Ontario LPC member, says he was “disappointed” when the commitment was shelved. On Thursday, he was handing out flyers urging members to vote in favor of the electoral reform resolution.
“(Right now) a party wins 40% of the vote and gets 60% of the seats in Parliament, whether it’s Conservative or Liberal. […] This is not a democracy,” he told La Presse Canadienne.
The resolution for which he is campaigning proposes the creation of a “nonpartisan national citizens’ assembly on electoral reform”.
Mr. Brennen, who says he is a voter who often changes the party he gives his vote to, believes that a voting system that includes “some form of proportionality” would further encourage citizens to vote.
The National Liberal Convention takes place in Ottawa until Saturday and is an opportunity for the Liberals to make sure to charm voters at the expense of Pierre Poilievre, while the PLC has been in power for more than seven years.
“The conversations you’re going to have here this weekend are critical to not only choosing the future of the party, but helping to choose the future of the country,” Mr. Trudeau told members of his party attending the a conference of the Indigenous Peoples Commission of the PLC.
The Liberal leader, who is blowing out 10 candles at the head of his party this year, seemed determined to whip up the motivation of his troops. He must deliver a speech, in the evening, in front of all the activists gathered.
Aya Abu Shekh, a 20-year-old Liberal member, believes that many Canadians are building up frustration since the COVID-19 pandemic and so on, and that may work in Poilievre’s favor.
“I feel like the Conservative Party is more of a threat right now because people are frustrated. They want to see change and I don’t know if they necessarily understand what (this political training) would give them,” said the young Ottawa-area woman.
Myah Tomasi, who is running for president of the Young Liberals of Canada, believes that the Conservative leader has too negative a message to really pose a threat.
In his view, the Liberal Party is “of course a party of young people”.
His opponent, Liam Olson, is also convinced. “The Young Liberals are the only force in Canada where young people can push their party and create policies,” said the Young Liberals’ aspiring president. According to him, it is clear that the conservatives do not have this same “framework” for youth.