Kids these days


A survey of young people conducted by Historica-Dominion Institute finds support for the NDP.

The survey found that with the exception of Alberta, the NDP beat out other parties for the youth vote (24% said they would vote for NDP pre-election, 44% said they did) and was most likely to speak to youth issues (46%) as compared to CPC (23%) and Liberals (16%). Harper’s focus on the economy won points with young voters (who report it as a top issue) but attack ads were seen unfavourably while disrespect for democracy had only a minor impact on image. Ignatieff was punished for perceived poor leadership and personality while Layton was most liked for his platform, personality and the NDP “surge” story. 


Kids these days

  1. I don’t know why, but I find it disquieting that “the economy” ranks as a top issue for our youth. Obviously it’s important, but I’d like see our national imagination extend a wee bit beyond a balance sheet.

    • Well, as the first generation that can expect to have a lower standard of living than their parents, I don’t think it’s too surprising really.

      Add to that the fact that they have to borrow for their education as compared to the boomers who received massive education grants.

      So once the kids finish paying off their student debts with their lower wages, then maybe when they’re in their late 30s or early 40s they can afford a home. Maybe.

      I’m not sure where having children comes in there either, but hey, we can always bring in more immigrants right?

      • I’m not sure where that idea started, but it’s not true.

        Boomers were told they’d have a hard time of it as well….no jobs, no houses and so on because there were so many of them, and so few in the generation above them that refused to retire. Yet boomers have become the wealthiest genteration we’ve had.

        • Of course they did. They had numbers on their side. Hence massive economic and political power. That kind of demand *creates* economic wealth. This is the difference between the boomers and the generations both before and after them.

          • Yes, numbers. Far too many for the ‘jobs that were available’ is what they were told. They’d have to ‘downsize’ their expectations in life.

            However, that’s not what happened, and it won’t happen to today’s youth either.

          • You seem to be running with a hasty generalization that just because they were wrong before necessarily means they’ll be wrong this time, even though the circumstances this time around are far different, and despite how stats are already starting to show that they’re earning less and are more likely to be unemployed than their parents were at the same point in their lives.

          • Projections into the future are nearly always wrong…including the stats.

            Boomers had the same problems, and it took them a long time to get started.

          • So if everything’s nearly always wrong, then I guess we might as well all just shut our eyes and head forward blindly, confident it will work out okay, huh?

            Me. I prefer to believe the evidence currently in front of us, not from a generation ago.

          • Where you should be looking is to the future….we have the information necessary to do that now.

          • Make up your mind. You just said that projections of what will happen in the future are nearly always wrong, including the stats.

            So pray tell what information are you talking about?

          • Sigh…projections of the past into today…which was then the future…were nearly always wrong. Today we have better information as to what we’re facing.

          • And as I said, we’re already seeing some stats that show this generation is worse off than their parents were when they were at the same point in their lives.

          • Except we’re moving into a new economy, so none of that will matter.

          • “Projections into the future are nearly always wrong…including the stats”

            “Where you should be looking is to the future….we have the information necessary to do that now.

            To be fair, 16 minutes elapsed between your postings. I guess we all have the right to change our minds.

          • No change of mind was necessary…just a change of your perspective.

        • With so much messaging in society, how do we measure what a generation is “told” precisely? I prefer to look at the formative environment, as I expect that it is this that inherently informs perspective.

          The boomer generation, and in fact every generation up to the early 90s, had nearly all their tuition paid via grants. The impact of this on future prospects cannot be understated, nor its impacts on the psyche when looking into the future.

          The policies of nations have been bent around, and for, the boomers from birth. Everyone knew the impact this glut of population would and did have. They were told from day one that they mattered and would have impact, regardless of the inherent media messages of gloom and doom that accompany every generation.

          For whatever reason, the boomers were extremely proactive in their early years and had a hugely idealistic perspective, very different from generation X or Y.

          How does one account for such dichotomous perspectives if not by looking at the environmental factors that form them?

          • You could try asking boomers who lived through the years of portable classrooms, low-paying jobs and high university tuition [which was not the free ride you claim] and lack of housing.

            We weren’t the only country to have a baby boom….the US certainly did as well, and there were no big grants for thier university years.

            People make their own lives, no matter what era they live in.

          • In case you didn’t notice, the number of portables used by schools today is HIGHER, not lower, the service economy of minimum wage has never been more prevalent, and tuition is far higher with basically NO grants at all.

            Honestly, as a man in his late forties who was around to see a lot of what we’re talking about, I think you’ve got a bit of tunnel vision going on here.

          • Yes, because many feeder schools shut down, so they picked a central one and went with that. The service economy is 75% of our national economy, and it means doctors and lawyers and so on…not minimum wage jobs. I’m 64…the leading edge of the baby boom, so I know all the predictions, and the final outcome. The youngest boomers are 45.

          • So we’re having an old boomer versus young boomer debate are we?

            Maybe there’s an explanation in there about our different experiences?

          • You’re not a same-generation boomer.

          • I’m just curious Emily: If you do disagree for the reasons you state, then why is it, do you think, that: the average pay off age of school debt, the average marrying age, the average age of first home purchase and the average age of first born children, has jumped so much, if not as a result of the environment these kids find themselves in?

            (Actually curious btw, not being snarky)

          • People live longer lives now. It used to be that men lived 2 years past retirement at 65, but now they’re living 30 years past that age. And the average age of marriage, children etc has also jumped because people, especially women, want to establish careers first.

      • Yes, but they’re also the first generation to face credible claims of forthcoming global environmental calamity, the first generation to be unencumbered by a racialized approach to both national and worldwide inequalities, the first generation face the paradox of cultural acceptance of gender equality against the persistent patterns of male dominance in business and politics, etc…

        If our youth can’t be a bit nutty and naive in longing for a changed world, then who will?

        • Except of course that the environmental concerns of the time were still an abstract kind of idea with no real substantial evidence to support the conclusions, IMO. Something to differentiate oneself from the older generation more so than the utter gloom and doom of today.

          Not to mention it was a time period in which many old predjudices from the past were falling to the wayside. Imagine being around to hear the “I had a dream” speech right when King made it, and a million people marched on Washington.

          The current issues for the younger generations however, slap them directly in the head.

          Think about it: You’re 21, in third year, and already you’re $20 000 in debt, despite having worked fulltime all summer and part time during the semesters.

          That’s a heck of a wake up call.

          No wonder the economy is their #1 concern. We made sure it would be.

          • Canada has thousands of jobs we can’t fill, because we don’t have enough qualified people. That’s why we’re dependent on immigration.

  2. Alberta is always the odd one out.

    • Actually, I’d argue that Quebec is probably the odd one out more often than Alberta. It depends what issue you’re talking about. Quebec, e.g., was the only province to send separatist MPs to Ottawa en masse for a couple of decades.

      • Alberta also has separatists.

        • The irony is, in pure economic terms, Alberta actually has a much stronger case for separating from Canada than Quebec does. Yet separatism has never been much more than a fringe movement in Alberta. You could well argue that that’s proof of Albertans’ innate and strong attachment to Canada, despite the fact that dumping on Albertans and questioning their patriotism seems to be the favourite indoor sport of a large number of (mostly left-leaning) Canadians, particularly in Central Canada. Quebecers, in contrast, seem to be treated with kid gloves.

          • Alberta has no case at all….not even a different language. They have a party for it though.

    A little further west:Hey Jack. We’ve got a provincial by-election at Vancouver/Point Grey. Tell me who I should vote for, Jack. I got all afternoon: the Harper-style ‘Liberal’ (‘Liberal’ is a meaningless term out here), or the NDP candidate. And there is a minor candidate or two, just in case I’m feeling especially snarky. 
    If you just let me know the NAME of the staffer that altered Brosseau’s resumé? It’s so annoying, so Bev Oda like. I know you want everyone to know just how much more transparent the NDP is going to be than anyone else. You know, all these young people, so open, so earnest, so un-Harper-esque. 
    Help me out, Jack. You can still call a press-conference. There’s still time.WHO is the staffer? I’m not interested in ‘punishment’. This isn’t Russia. Or ‘shame’; this isn’t North Korea. I just want to know what sort of structural rot is being cleaned up right away. That you’re really dealing with this trifling matter immediately. ‘Great trees from small acorns grow’ and all that. 
    Or maybe you’re not interested in provincial politics. 
    But, hey, this IS a university area. Lot of young folks will be interested. 
    I have to decide. Let me know. The polls close in the afternoon. 

    • Hope you do not vote for Eby – anyone but him.

      • That was absolutely asinine, what David Eby told the local media, i.e., that if Christy Clark didn’t stomp him to smithereens in this by-election, she would somehow have “lost”, despite actually, umm, defeating him and winning a seat. Up until that idiotc statement, I at least thought he was he was intelligent. Now I have my doubts.

  4. .
    I took strong exception to Mr. Ignatieff’s unwelcome installation into the Liberal party, simply because it was inherently wrong not merely strategically foolish. But that’s not going to help the Liberals. They have to re-think the way they do things from the ground up. They are dealing with one of the most sophisticated organizations of any Western democracy: a party operating under extremely tight efficiency and quality-control principles, with a completely amoral (not immoral), and non-ethical (not unethical) guiding philosophy.

    The party, and all parties, must understand the strategy and nature of the attack before they develop an approach to it in the future.

    That is where multidisciplinary academic input and analysis (psychologists, neurolingists, et al) can play a part. The Government of Harper/Conservative machine speaks to the peoples’ collective and individual limbic system. You cannot deal with that with:

    1. A much smaller budget.
    2. A limbic counter-attack. (This is Canada, after all, not the U.S.).
    3. An appeal to voters’ frontal cortices on only a vote level.

    The most effective response is education, part of which is explanation and deconstruction of the Government of Harper’s methodology. Since they have been quite open about their planning and operationalization of the attack, parties can begin with that.

    Having a lower budget, the response needs to exploit low-budget options with a wide audience (youTube, eg).

    Under these circumstances, the Government of Harper stands to achieve what American conservatives failed in when they sought a permanent installation of a Republican administration. This is no doubt due in large measure to the personality and character of Mr. Harper himself: the ideal bean-counter.

  5. I’m guessing OriginalEmily1 is the reason Maclean’s wanted to limit nesting comments. :)

    • Actually it was you they were aiming for….random rude comments instead of something thoughtful and on topic.

    • And Dennis!!

      I recall at least a few threads where the indenting literally led to posts that contained one word per line!!

      Ahhh, good times. ;-)

  6. The sample for this survey is highly idiosyncratic.
    “This online survey of 814 young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24, was conducted using UthinkOnline’snational research panel.
    •The UthinkOnline source of sample comes from an active online community, Studentawards.com, which is an online scholarship resource aimed at connecting students with scholarships, bursaries and awards. UthinkOnline is the MR data collection division of Studentawards.com offering members a secondary engagement of doing surveys.
    •UthinkOnline has a double-opt in process where during sign-up the member goes through permission for various offerings such as which types of communication they wish to receive. In addition, the community is actively managed using a range of resources from direct user support to automated profile updates/opt-outs.
    •Each survey is administered to a series of randomly selected samples from the panel and weighted to ensure that the overall sample’s composition reflects that of the actual young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 24 according to 2006 Census data to provide results that are intended to approximate a probability sample. UthinkOnline provides each panellist with an unique URL so only invited panel members are able to complete the survey and only once.”

    Generalizing from a random sample selected from a twice self-selected (first, joining the web site, and second, choosing to be surveyed) group is obviously problematic.I’m also bothered by the number of typographical errors in the “full report” linked from the site linked above. If they can’t check to make sure they haven’t confused “were” and “where”, can we be confident they got the numbers right?

  7. Emily secured, by my count, at least three victims in this post. Her obnoxious inability to abide by the conventions of logic and remarkable refusal to countenance her own human fallibility is like a siren’s call. Tie me to the mast, gentlemen!

    • Perhaps the problem lies in your imagination or your ideology….it certainly doesn’t lie in my logic.

      I shouldn’t have to explain the Knowledge economy every time I come on here…it’s not new, ya know.

      • I shouldn’t have to explain the Knowledge economy every time I come on here

        No, I suppose that was asking a bit much, my mistake.

        • Too late to lash you to the mast, I see.

          Like Emily, I suffer from an economy of knowledge. But I try to hide it.

          • And that’s the problem. Neither of you consider other factors beyond the outdated ideology, and when anybody else does, they get attacks on their ‘logic’.

          • 1. Pointing out errors in logic and coherence does not constitute an attack.

            2. And really, no one is attacking you. I’m far meaner to my own children when they ask for a cookie after being told “no” three times in succession. We’re kinda having goodhearted fun with your OCD tendencies to insist on having the last word. And your sometimes fleeting attention to the flow of discussion. Roll with it.

            3. I generally loathe ideology, but I’m simultaneously curious to know what my ‘outdated ideology’ is.

            4. I will send you five dollars if you can resist responding to this. Heck, I’ll make it ten if you don’t mind Canadian Tire money for the balance.

          • Well I haven’t made any ‘errors in logic’, but Cons like to tell me that all time. Partly because I’m female, and partly because of the ideology.

            I don’t insist on the ‘last word’….I just answer posts made to me. It used to be called ‘being polite’.

            As to the ‘outdated ideology’….beyond my usual remarks about the rightwing, I mean the belief that the economy will roll on in the future, the same way it has since the end of WWII. However we’re in a threshold event and moving into the knowledge economy….

Sign in to comment.