Letter: Mandatory voting isn’t the solution

In a Feb. 16 letter, Sima Shakeri wrote that Canada should institute mandatory voting, to cure what ails Canadian democracy. Shakeri praises Australia for its mandatory voting system, and its consistent voter turnouts of more than 90 per cent. This does not say much about the state of Australian democracy. After all, it is mandatory. In fact, researchers at the Australian National University released a study in December 2016 reviewing their most recent federal election, concluding that faith in Australia’s democracy hasn’t been so low since 1975. A 2014 study from the Lowy Institute found less than a third of voting-age Australians had confidence in the federal government. The same problem exists in our country. Eighty per cent of Canadians […]

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Canadian millennials fall behind U.S, Mexico in home ownership: report

A new report shows that 82 per cent of millennials in Canada expect to buy their first home in the next five years, despite facing significant challenges. The independent research study was commissioned by HSBC and based on feedback from 9,000 people from across the globe, including 1,000 from Canada. Canada is sixth on the list of millennial home ownership, at 34 per cent, following the U.S., according to the report. But the report shows the percentage of millennials that intend to buy a home in the near future is more than double that at 82 per cent. “Whereas there might be a perception out there that millennials don’t want to own houses, the report tells us otherwise, that they […]

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Letter: Voting should be a mandatory civic duty

With the abysmal turnouts in most federal elections, not only in Canada, but much of the world, many have been left wondering what can be done to nudge up participation once again. The highest voter turnout this country has ever had—79.4 per cent in 1958—is still a far cry from the entire electorate voting. While controversial, the solution to low turnout is pretty clear. Mandatory voting—though not perfect—offers an obvious answer with relatively few problems. There are a few commonly cited reasons against mandatory voting: it infringes on people’s rights to abstain from voting, and it forces uninformed voters to cast votes they don’t care about that will inform public policy for years. Nonetheless, voting is a civic duty and […]

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Politics blog: Trudeau is on a collision course with Trump – and his own brand

It’s understandable and respectable that Canadian prime ministers have historically stayed mum when they disagree with the policies and beliefs of their American counterparts. Standing for principle’s sake instead of finding points of agreement can lead to chilly relations, resulting in unwanted consequences on policies that affect the lives of everyday people. Add into the equation the elephant-mouse relationship that Canada has with its southern neighbour, and the fallout may be more adverse for us. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has so far embodied such a cautious position, based on the belief that the boat of good relations should not be unnecessarily rocked by incendiary words or sharp rebuttals towards the president. Such a strategy has almost always worked on the […]

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Editorial: “Sugar baby”-ing should not be the solution

Seeking Arrangement, an organization that allows people to sign up as “sugar babies,” says the cost of tuition and the impact of student debt is driving more Canadian students to sign up for its services. If students are turning to this organization with the sole purpose of paying off their debt, this is a problem. A sugar baby is defined by Seeking Arrangment as someone seeking financial support in exchange for dating another person. The company says a large portion of its user base consists of post-secondary students with the goal of graduating debt-free. Seeking Arrangement’s founder, Brandon Wade, has publicly said students are “taking matters into their own hands” by signing up for the service, which pays $2,750 on […]

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