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Comedian Rick Mercer. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)
Comedian Rick Mercer. (Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail/Deborah Baic/The Globe and Mail)

No laughing matter

Thanks a heap, Rick Mercer - the students might actually vote Add to ...

Oh geez, Rick Mercer, what have you started?

There you were on national television urging Canadian kids to get off their butts and vote.

And suddenly students across the country, inspired by the way kids the University of Guelph reacted to your rant, were putting together these things called vote mobs.

The students at the University of Victoria did it.

The students at the University of Ottawa did it.

The students at UNBC did it.

So did students at the University of Calgary and at McMaster University. In fact, McGill in Montreal just hosted one of these things on Thursday.

And more vote mobs are being planned at the University of Waterloo, and Queen's and Carleton and the University of Toronto and Yukon College and UBC.

They've even got a web page - one that is not affiliated with a political party but which has a decidedly left-leaning point of view.

And they are using Facebook and Twitter to organize these things.

Now, if there is one thing worse than having mobs of unruly kids expressing an interest in democracy, surely it's having them actually take part in an election.

At the University of Guelph this week, a special ballot was held to allow students to vote on campus and the line-ups were very long.

Remember last time, when only 37 per cent of eligible voters between 18 and 24 turned out to the polling stations on election day? Remember how easy it was then for political parties to tailor their platforms to the people they can count on to cast large numbers of ballots - the seniors?

Now what are they going to do? They are going to have to start talking about things like the environment and drug policy and tuition.

Well thanks a lot, Rick. Thanks a heck of a lot.

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