On Oct. 2, most people in Ontario will be voting for one of the three main parties. This should not be the case according to one local aspiring politician. Nick Lin is one of the independent candidates for Trinity Spadina this year and not only does he not believe that either the PCs Liberals or NDP should be voted in, he also does not believe in political parties at all.
Lin has been affiliated with the Marxist-Leninist party for three years. He has previously run for both provincial and federal elections. As a young candidate and recent student at U of T, one of Lin’s main concerns is education. “My prime preoccupation is with education as a right…the right to a post-secondary education must be guaranteed.” Lin also would like to see tuition decreased until it is free and have businesses who employ grads to pay a levy to finance the education and have the loan system taken down and replaced with a bursary program. Currently Lin works on campus with the Toronto Student Movement (a Marxist-Leninist club) and the Student Christian movement.
Lin, 31, feels that youth are not taken seriously enough politically and he would like to see that change. “I see youth putting themselves in the forefront of justice around the world. We are not content with the status quo, but what mechanism do we have to change that? We are marginalized.”
Monday night’s gathering and talk by the three main candidates, to which Lin was not originally invited, was to him an example of this marginalization. “It felt inappropriate. If I should be speaking anywhere it should be on campus,” said Lin, alluding to his involvement in U of T life. “I want to make it clear that this exclusion is part of the way that people are excluded from the process.” After being given a microphone and being allowed to join the discussion, Lin was satisfied that he had given the students an opportunity for a fully informed vote.
Part of Lin’s platform is that there should be no political parties. “There are no cure from the Gods of plague,” said Lin, “those who have the power, why would they want reform to change the structure of power?” He would prefer to see different groups, such as students, directly represented and feels that this would be the best way for their interests to be attended to. “Why can’t students have a representative in parliament?” he asks, “their issues will be taken up and the fight will continue.”
Although a Marxist-Leninist candidate has never been elected since their inception in 1970, Lin does not deem a vote for an independent candidate a useless one. In fact, he believes that it is the only option: “Voting for one of the major parties is a waste of your vote. It’s like a fast food combo- number one, two or three. It’s presented as a done deal, that’s why voter turnout is going down. The three main parties are alienating the youth from politics.”