Long-time listener, first-time voter? You have company that skews in interesting demographic ways. Hear now the wisdom of Ekos, young man or woman!


You had so much fun with the Ekos cross-tabs yesterday that you’ll probably be interested in pollster Frank Graves’s commentary today, which looks at one category of voters who “did not vote” in the last election: Those who weren’t 18 yet and will be voting for the first time. His conclusion: The Green Party does well among  first-time voters (or it will if they actually vote); the NDP does fairly well too; and the Conservatives don’t fare too badly. The Bloc and the Liberals, however, are essentially failing to excite first-time voters.


Long-time listener, first-time voter? You have company that skews in interesting demographic ways. Hear now the wisdom of Ekos, young man or woman!

  1. “It may be that we are shifting from a more centrist, politics of consensus, to a more ideologically polarized electorate – a movement that may not auger well for future Liberal prospects.”

    From Frank’s keyboard to god’s ears. I would love it if Canadians got more polarized and stopped with the politics of consensus but I will keep my hopes low until I see actual trends.

    I think young people generally lean left and, from what my teacher friends say, the school system also seems to be producing lots of libertarians who don’t seem to lean left or right as we know it.

  2. The culture wars are sexy for young people.

  3. Awwww… Canadians are growing up.

    We’ll have our very own set of ideologically polarized political parties.

    I like it.

  4. jwl: You do realize that a polarized government is even less representation for the taxation? And that when polarized, government becomes less transparent as they’re trying to hide everything from the opposition, and that any decisions tend to happen more along ideological lines rather than with rational thinking.

    And you want to see more of this?

  5. jwl: “I would love it if Canadians got more polarized…”

    Because that’s working so well south of the border?

  6. jwl –

    Anecdotally only, I think your observation about libertarianism among first time voter aged citizens is on the money. The conundrum is that they are equally libertarian about fiscal and social issues, which drives the social conservatives nuts because there’s that whole urge to impose morals on people, which means drug laws and pro life stuff. And social progressives are equally frustrated by their apparent lack of interest in creating massive programs to alter the state of the universe, which means employment equity or affirmative action. It’s, it’s, it’s a paradigm shift. Except if it’s not, because if they follow their libertarian hearts, how likely are they to vote for soemthing they barely tolerate? It’s a puzzle.

  7. Brad

    That’s how I, and me teacher friends, see it as well. Don’t like social conservatism, do support economic conservative policies and question the value of massive programs that don’t seem to do much.

    They sound like a future generation of classic liberals to me but we have to wait and see.

    TJ Cook and T Thwim

    People being passionate about politics is a good thing and consensus is way over rated.

  8. Polarization does not lead to passion about politics. It leads to passion about puffin poop, it leads to lies, it leads to spin. In the worst case scenario, it leads to civil war.

    Sorry, I’m not for that.

  9. I’m still considering wearing a t-shirt that says ‘vote for sale’

    if only so that someone would kindly explain to me what my candidates stand for, which policies they agree with and which they don’t. I *know* what the national party *leaders* stand for- but my individual candidates, I have no idea. I see why my friends (also first time voters)are staying home- but that bothers me too much.
    So, attention partisans!
    Vote for Sale!

  10. Sophie, do you not have local candidates debates in your riding? Why not attend one and find out what each candidate is about?

    If you don’t have one, why not organize one? I’ve done this (okay, with school boards, but still) and what you need to do is find an organization that will help–provide the venue, perhaps the moderator. Maybe a community centre group, a downtown business association, that sort of thing. Even a coalition of different religions would work in a pinch. Then you just have to invite the candidates and make sure its publicized. Even if you have to print up flyers your own self, that isn’t all that incredibly expensive. And newspaper/radio will probably promote for free as much as they can.

    You may still want to sell your vote, but you might have driven the price up!

Sign in to comment.