The kids are, you know, fine and stuff, I guess

by Aaron Wherry

Elections Canada has released its national survey of young adults. Three-quarters of them claim to be voting and they generally seem okay with the state of things.

There were reasonably high levels of satisfaction among the youth surveyed with the way democracy works in Canada, with 53% of youth being somewhat satisfied and a further 17% very satisfied. … A key difference between voters and non-voters was that voters were more likely to have agreed that the government plays a major role in their lives compared to non-voters (81% versus 62%, respectively).

Youth voters were more likely than non-voters to identify with a political party and to feel that by voting they could make a difference. Nearly all voters (95%) agreed that there was at least one political party that talked about the issues that they felt were important, compared to fewer (85%), but still a high proportion, of non-voters. When youth were asked whether they felt that by voting they could make a difference, 88% of voters agreed, compared to 72% of non-voters. Most youth, both voters and non-voters, disagreed that all federal political parties were the same (85% of voters and 76% of non-voters).

Setting aside the obviously dubious self-reporting of voter turnout, the report gets at what’s driving the decline in voter turnout: lack of knowledge, lack of interest, lack of relevance and, as Apathy is Boring has argued, a lack of direct engagement.




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The kids are, you know, fine and stuff, I guess

  1. This comment was deleted.

    • Wouldn’t the dictator ban phone apps?

      I, too, think Canadians are mostly witless onanists but unfortunately that’s how our education systems wants us – to have our thumbs up bums and brains in neutral while technocrats claim to be able to solve world’s problems.

      • While I agree that the Canadian education system does little to promote independent critical thought, as a “youth voter” I resent being called a sheep / chronic masturbator.
        A) I consider myself politically aware, and appropriately critical of government.
        B) my vote was cast knowing, to the best of my understanding, the pros and cons of each party.
        C) I can choke the chicken as much as I please.

  2. Emma Goldman ~ If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal

  3. The article says that youth are happy with our voting system. When they become adults, their acquired experience reveals how flawed our first past the post voting system is, and frustration leads to removing themselves from the voting process. If you want to improve turnout, make it so the percentages of people that vote for parties is followed up by awarding the same percentage of MP seats for those parties. I’d vote for that!

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