If elected, provincial Liberal Victoria-Beacon Hill candidate Dallas Henault's top priority will be increasing youth voter turnout. But, in an interview yesterday on Public Eye Radio, the 26-year-old former party worker wasn't able to give specifics on how he'd do that. "One of the issues that I care about passionately is youth turnout rate," said Mr. Henault, when asked if there was any particular policy proposal he'd be advocating for in the legislature. "So I'd work with the government on a number of initiatives in terms of bringing that rate up."
"For some reason, youth don't feel engaged," he continued. "But I've been privileged over the last number of years to work with our youth wing of our party and also, in the last number of months, on our Hub Tour that we've brought around - trying to engage people. So specifically, that's an issue that I care passionately about is getting people involved and making sure they're engaged. And that's something I want to bring forward to the legislature."
So what would those initiatives be? "Well, I think we need to realize that people have an effect on the decisions that are made. So something that happens down the road - whether it's the economy or the environment - that anything we do today will have that effect. So I want to make sure that people can feel that passion, that they can feel that they're involved. So I plan on working on not only in Victoria-Beacon Hill but making sure that youth around the province know that they can get involved in our party. We're quite welcoming. We're open. We have an open philosophy in letting people come in."
But does he have a specific legislative initiative he'll be advancing to increase youth voter turnout? "It's something that needs to be looked at," he replied. "I don't have a blanket solution. I think it's a very complex thing. So I want to make sure we get our turnout rate out - that the generation I'm involved in knows that you can be involved, that you can have a voice and bring that engagement back."