photo provided by: Julia Witte
COURTENAY, BC- Julia Witte would have turned her back to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Witte is the Courtenay- Alberni delegate for Daughters of the Vote, an organization that gets young women involved in national politics. 338 young women are chosen from around the country to represent their communities.
Each woman took their respective MP’S seat in the House of Commons last Wednesday.
During their time in Ottawa, several delegates openly disagreed with the current choices made by the Prime Minister in the House of Commons, standing up and turning their backs to him while he spoke to them.
“It was kind of surreal, I think it was more empowering to see everyone else in a seat at the House of Commons more than myself,” said Witte.
Gord Johns: Courtenay-Alberni Member of Parliament and Julia Witte
“Seeing so much diversity and seeing so many different women from different backgrounds, I think that was the most empowering part.”
Not all the young women who attended the event agreed with Trudeau’s recent decision to kick out both Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott from caucus.
Witte is not in full agreement of the choice herself.
“I personally don’t agree with it,” said Witte.
“However, I don’t particularly see it as a fault of the Liberal party. I believe if any political party was in that position that they would make the same tough call,” said Witte.
“I was all for supporting Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott. I think their actions were completely courageous. I think if you don’t want transparency from your government then there is a problem.”
During the event, many of the delectates made their opinions known and got up to turn their backs when Prime Minster Trudeau stood up to speak.
“I got a little angry after the fact because there was a lot of backlash on the internet saying these women didn’t have any reason to, they didn’t think it through,” said Witte.
“It was disrespectful, and I completely think that (the backlash) is so not valid.”
Witte did not stand along with the women who did, but only because she was not aware of the decision.
“Now looking back on it I wish I did,” said Witte.
“I am the kind of person that makes very concise, considerate decisions before I do it, that is not to say that they didn’t.”
She went on to explain that after the stand, she was added to a page on Facebook made by the women who had stood up.
“They had planned it out and discussed in great detail about how important this was to them and why they thought it was the right thing to do,” said Witte.
“They all had valid reasons for doing it, I completely commend them. It made a really powerful statement.”
She hopes to see other young women to get involved with politics and make a positive impact.
“As long as you have opinions and as long as there is something you care about you don’t need to have the background or to be studying political science, you don’t have to be super politically minded.” said Witte.
“As long as there are some things you think are important and things you want to see change then that should be reason enough to be in politics. Don’t think that just because someone else has the same opinion as you that you are not just as valid.”
Witte went on to encourage young women to join Daughters of the Vote and to get involved in what is happening in Canada.
“Any young people who want participate next time and they have any questions they can always contact me.” said Witte.
“I know it is hard for my particular riding because it has such a small demographic of young people but that doesn’t mean you are any less valid. I think it is so important that younger people have a voice.”