Ian Pusey turns 18 just in time to cast his first vote in the federal election.

Ian Pusey turns 18 just in time to cast his first vote in the federal election.

Election 2015: Young man eager to exercise his right

North Okanagan-Shuswap: Ian Pusey can’t wait to cast a ballot in Monday’s federal election

Ian Pusey can’t wait to cast a ballot in Monday’s federal election.

It’s something the first-year UBC Okanagan business student has been looking forward to since, well, the last federal election in 2011.

When he was 13. And watching the election on TV. And ignoring parents Ann and Doug’s pleas to go to bed, wanting to stay up to see who won.

Pusey turned 18 – the eligible voting age in Canada – three days before the election.

“It’s an important pillar of our society, our ability to express our opinion through voting,” said Pusey, a proud graduate of Coldstream’s Kalamalka Secondary School.

“That’s one of the things that separates Canadian society from a lot of other countries in the world. We have the freedom to share our opinion and to have our voice heard. It’s very important that we do that.”

An employee at Sparkling Hill resort – when not studying business at university – Pusey has kept tabs on politics since that 2011 election.

In Grade 10, he and others from Kal Secondary went to Ottawa with the Encounters With Canada group to learn how government functions, visit the Parliament buildings and learn about Canada’s heritage.

The fact that he can now vote leaves him a little excited.

“It’s exciting in the same way you go for a driver’s test,” said Pusey. “The results might be good, or, at the same time, they might not be good but it’s something you have to do.”

Calling himself a “fiscal conservative but upholding more progressive social values, so I’m kind of stuck in the middle on that,” Pusey figures most of his friends will join him in casting a ballot for the first time, and that their minds are made up on who they’ll vote for.

“I’d say two-thirds of my friends have made a decision on who they’re going to vote for and have put some thought into it,” he said.

Pusey will join his parents after his Monday afternoon economics class at whatever polling station they’ll be going to, and has taken election night off work to watch the action on TV.

His prediction?

“I would say we’re not going to see a majority government this time around,” he said. “The Conservatives don’t have as much popular support as they used to. Vote-splitting on the left wing is not going to lead to a majority for either the Liberals or the NDP.

“I would project a minority Liberal or minority Conservative government.”

No matter the outcome, Pusey encourages all eligible first-time voters, and everyone eligible to mark a ballot to get out and vote.

“People like to cite that there’s a failure in our democracy and their vote doesn’t count for anything,” he said. “I’d like to see those people spend a week in say, North Korea, then come back here and tell me about the failure of our democracy.

“It is truly a representative democracy. If you want to change it that better suits your needs, you can vote for a party that wants to change the democracy. Both the Liberals and NDP want to change our representation system, so vote for one of them if you want to change the system, you know?”










Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lindsay Palmateer, a Salmon Arm mother of six, succumbed to her injuries after a serious crash Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, south of Enderby. (Contributed)
‘She was everyone’s caretaker’: Salmon Arm mother of six remembered

GoFundMe campaign exceeds goal already for family involved in deadly crash near Enderby

Canadian author Paul Young, who wrote the critically acclaimed novel, the Shack, will join Vernon-based foundation, the Emily Dahl Foundation, for a Fireside Chat event in June 2021. (YouTube)
Bestselling author to be keynote presenter at Vernon event

The Shack author Paul Young to join with Emily Dahl Foundation for summer Fireside Chat

The Vernon Winter Carnival Society, in conjunction with the Stor-it Place, will award two $500 scholarships to a pair of Grade 12 students. (Morning Star - file photo)
Vernon Winter Carnival offers up scholarships

Two Grade 12 students can win $500 scholarships in conjunction with Carnival and The Stor-it Place

North Okanagan Minor Hockey Association coach Rory Taber (left) accepts donations of new equipment for some local players from former NHL player Jason Podollan and his Up My Hockey brand, courtesy of Bauer Hockey. (Photo submitted)
Ex-NHLer sets up North Okanagan kids with new gear

Jason Podollan teams up with Bauer Hockey to help out some worthy families with new hockey equipment

The exhibit is set to open on Nov. 13. (File)
UBCO recieves $1.9M for cleantech hub

UBCO campus will help develop and commercialize clean technologies and create up to 50 well-paying jobs

Brett Forsythe battles it out in a game of singles pickleball on ice at Okanagan Training Rink Thursday, Jan. 7 in support of the Vernon Food Bank. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Pickleball play hits the ice in Okanagan

Rivals battle it out in support of the food bank

Two toucans sit on tree at an unidentified zoo. (Pixabay.com)
BC SPCA calls for ban on exotic animal trade after 50 parrots, toucans pass through YVR

One toucan was found dead and several others were without food

Kelowna International Airport. —Image: Capital News file
Kelowna International Airport saw 64% decrease in passenger numbers in 2020

The airport said these numbers haven’t been seen since 1997

A rendering of the proposed development, called 2020, adjacent to other currently underway projects in the area. (Contributed)
Proposed 46-storey tower dubbed ‘2020’ would be Kelowna’s tallest building

The building was proposed two days after council approved a 42-storey tower on Leon Avenue

  RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media file)
‘Dangerous situation’ inside busy Kelowna store prompts police presence

27-year-old man apprehended after threatening to harm himself inside store

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials says it will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

City of Salmon Arm Coun. Chad Eliason goes public with the information he went to Mexico over Christmas. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm councillor travels to Mexico over Christmas holiday

Politician says he regrets decision and didn’t consider the ramifications

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Most Read