Elizabeth May’s daughter running for Greens, predicts higher youth turnout
Published Monday, October 12, 2015 6:16PM EDT
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May’s daughter, Cate May Burton, is predicting that disenchantment among young Canadians will lead to a higher youth voter turnout on election day.
May Burton, who is running for the Green Party in Quebec, told CTV’s Power Play on Monday that she’s already seen evidence.
“Young people are getting out to vote right now and I think it’s really amazing to see that happen. I think young people have been disenchanted by the sense that they’re not really being spoken to by the main political parties. And I think that’s starting to change,” she said.
May Burton says access to post-secondary education has become a major issue for young voters, highlighting the Green Party’s platform promise to eliminate tuition by 2020.
Her mother is equally encouraged by the evidence of strong voter turnout across the country. According to Elections Canada, advance poll turnout is up 34 per cent from the 2011 federal election.
“I hope it’s not wishful thinking but what I see in this is a lot of Canadians are saying, ‘We’ve had it with Stephen Harper,’” said May.
“This is a pretty strong moment for reclaiming parliamentary democracy. Probably the best chance in a generation to reduce the power of the prime minister’s office is more Greens in a minority parliament.”
With talks of a possible minority government, May said she is prepared to work with NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau to ensure the government doesn’t fall. She wants to see the leaders of both parties take “real climate action,” repeal the Conservative anti-terror bill, C-51, reduce the power of the prime minister’s office, and ensure there are no tankers and pipelines near Canada’s coastlines.
Green growth in Quebec
May says the Greens are starting to catch on more in Quebec than ever thanks to the strength of candidates such as Deputy Leader Daniel Green, who is running in the Montreal area. But she says TVA’s refusal to allow her to participate in the leaders’ debate on Oct. 2 was a challenge.
“Certainly we’ve faced some barriers in getting our message out. But we’ll do better in Quebec in this election than we’ve ever done before, that’s for sure,” said May.
One riding the May duo is not so hopeful about is Berthier-Maskinonge, where May Burton is representing the party. And they’re being honest about it.
“I’m really just running because it is important that the Berthier have the chance to vote for the Green platform,” said May Burton. “I’m really not trying to pretend that I am running a campaign there.”
May defended her daughter’s lack of campaigning in Quebec, saying it’s not unusual for candidates who don’t live in the riding to run.
There’s never been another mother and daughter running as leader and candidate for the same party in Canadian federal election history; May and May Burton are the first.
“It can be tense at times but we get a lot of laughs out of it as well,” said May Burton.