A self-proclaimed political junkie, George Sipsis is often the first to chime in when it comes talking politics.
So when the opportunity came along to express his views to the entire nation, there was no hesitation for the Western alumnus to toss his hat into the ring for the CBC’s Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister competition.
The annual contest, which started as a written essay contest in 1995 by Magna International Inc., has now become a nationally televised program on CBC with a prize of $50,000 and a paid internship at Magna International for the winner.
Second, third and fourth place winners also receive cash and internship prizes.
“I’ve seen the program the last two years and felt that I had something unique to add to the discussion because I was not completely satisfied by some of the answers during the competition,” says Sipsis, an honours medical sciences graduate, who plans to pursue a medical degree at Western.
“Also, this is a great way to get the views of other youth first hand, with debates going on through the forums and a series of challenges; it’s pretty fun.”
Young Canadians aged 18-25 have the ears and eyes of the nation listening to their thoughts about what would make our country even better through online videos and forums – in essence, campaigning for votes.
Through debate and challenges the candidates will be narrowed down to four who will appear on CBC Television in March to vie for the title of Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister.
This year’s challenge to the competitors is how they would make Canada stronger politically, socially and economically. Sipsis says some of his ideas include giving constituents the means to have non-binding votes on their MPs website for every confidence vote, increasing voter turnout by making election day a national holiday and investing more in health care.
“What I don’t like about politicians, and other contestants, is they don’t offer details, which is a reason I entered this competition,” says Sipsis. “Let’s invest in aspects that can truly bring better health care and jobs in Canada.”
Regarding post-secondary issues, Sipsis says increasing funds to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research would help support researchers and, in turn, attract “more of the best and brightest graduate students.”
He would also work with the provinces to assist medical students and residents with debt, such as increasing the grace period after graduating.
With the global economy constantly changing, he says Canada needs to adapt by perhaps tightening its belt in areas such as defense and the Governor General’s portfolio. As well, the government needs to look at new trade relations when it comes to Canada’s auto industry.
“That is the goal of this competition, to gain a unique perspective from the youth all across this country, which is why I am participating,” says Sipsis. “Not only has the situation in Canada been diversifying in respect to the past, but I think in the coming months, especially surrounding the political and economic realm in Canada, it will be so in the future as well.”
To learn more about Sipsis and his journey to become Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister, visit his Facebook page or head to the