The student vote

by Aaron Wherry

Sarah Millar asks an important question: will vote mobs mean actual votes?

Small said part of the reason she doesn’t think the current online push will translate to more voters at the polls is because the Internet is fragmented — if you don’t want to see politics online, you won’t. “The relationship between technology and voter turnout is that there isn’t one.”

Jamie Biggar, co-founder of LeadNow an organization which is helping to facilitate the vote mobs, disagreed with Small, saying that social media is what is bringing in those who normally would not participate in politics. Through sites like Facebook and Twitter, they’re seeing their friends are involved, and they’re watching the videos, he said. “Vote mobs are a way to turn desire into action,” he said



					

					



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The student vote

  1. It's great that students want to vote and hopefully their participation will increase. But most of the inaction with under-24 voters is among those NOT in college or university. Real change would require some way of engaging those young adults, who tend not to participate at all.

    • Some way like…Facebook?

      I dare you to point me to an under-24-year-old who doesn't have a Facebook account.

      • Awareness/organizing via FB — sure. But actually getting on the voters list, knowing what to do, where to go, showing up to cast a ballot — that's where the breakdown occurs.

        College and Univ students have similar voting patters to the rest of the population. What drags down — way down — the aggregate youth voter turnout is the disengagement of non-college kids. This is compounded by the ultra-low turnout rates among the youngest demographic if all: aboriginals.

        In your opinion, what might get non-college youth to the ballot box on election day?

        • Is it very hard to get on the voters list? Last I checked, you have to fill out a form AT THE POLLS and show some ID. This isn't fragmented like the U.S. where every state has different rules (and some you cannot sign up day of and vote!)

          • You can get on the voters' list through the Elections Canada website, but even if you are not on the voters' list, you can be added at the polling station on election day if you have i.d.

          • I'm not suggesting it's hard. But if you're 20 and have had 3 different addresses in two towns since the last election, you might not know what to do — or how easy it really is. Especially if you've never gone through the motions of voting yourself.

            My question is a sincere and open one:
            What might get non-college youth to the ballot box on election day?

            Is it running "how to" commercials on HNIC or during a sitcom? Could we use cellphone bills / texts to distribute info and encourage voting? FB and Youtube could play a part, but how best to drive them there in the first place? And what messages might resonate?

            Whaddaya think?

        • In this election? I'm really not sure. Few of the policies or personalities that are being advocated by the major parties seem to have any real impact on youth.

          Perhaps, if someone talked about higher internet speed or removing download caps or something like that, you might get some action. It certainly worked during the UBB campaign. I thought the Liberals education passport thingy might have helped, but that really didn't go viral. Taxes aren't usually aren't high on their priorities, and creating a family is a couple of years off.

          So really, the Rick Mercer approach of making voting cool is probably the best bet. That, and having attractive members of the opposite sex and incorporating some sort of drinking game.

          EDIT: Although, if someone advocated for lower cellphone bills, they'd win the youth vote in a landslide.

          • There were girls at the "Young NDP" club in my high school. That worked. I still like girls, anyway.

  2. It's great that students want to vote and hopefully their participation will increase. But most of the inaction with under-24 voters is among those NOT in college or university. Real change would require some way of engaging those young adults, who tend not to participate at all.

  3. In the climate the CPC are willing to change this campaign to, will young people really vote? Lying about election crimes is not being noticed by the main stream media it seems? Perhaps there are too many Conservative Party lies to track at this point, so people give up?
    http://saskboy.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/cpc-campa

  4. Some way like…Facebook?

    I dare you to point me to an under-24-year-old who doesn't have a Facebook account.

  5. Sarah Millar and her cracker barrel philosophy….

    'Tried it back in 19-ought-6. Didn't work then, won't work now'

  6. Awareness/organizing via FB — sure. But actually getting on the voters list, knowing what to do, where to go, showing up to cast a ballot — that's where the breakdown occurs.

    College and Univ students have similar voting patters to the rest of the population. What drags down — way down — the aggregate youth voter turnout is the disengagement of non-college kids. This is compounded by the ultra-low turnout rates among the youngest demographic if all: aboriginals.

    In your opinion, what might get non-college youth to the ballot box on election day?

  7. The LPC better beware of the student vote—most of the coaching within the universities comes from the NDP Profs and the NDP friendly Student Union.
    The female student appears to be more knowledgeable with youth issues than the males, who will usually go along with the vote mob in the hope of getting laid at the after-party.
    Is that too cynical ? Nah.

    • I keep hearing this talking point, but I can't remember a single professor from any class throughout my undergraduate and graduate degrees who advocated for a particular party or politician. Was my experience truly unique?

      • My Canadian history prof used to scream about how CAnada needed to wake up and vote for the reform/alliance.

        • I had a prof who was a raving Libertarian, but he never once suggested I vote for a particular politician.

          • Attended the University of Calgary in the early part of the last decade. My faculty was very anti-Con.

      • In undergrad (history, if you must know), for my own amusement, I kept a running tally of any time a prof said something unsupportable and partisan in class in a way that strongly indicated their politics. It was hardly necessary for them to say the "Vote NDP" part out loud, it was so unsubtle. (Although I'll grant that a couple of the more angry granola-y types were probably in that dedicated cohort of Marxist-Leninist supporters in Ottawa Centre and Ottawa-Vanier.)

        I gave the notebook scoreboard thing up in law school. I wouldn't have had any time to take lecture notes otherwise.

        • Interesting! My undergrad was in sciences, and my grad in economics. Perhaps it was during an inter-election period, but I probably could have done my tally on a post-it.

      • One of my economics profs actually worked for Jean Chretien.

    • Nominated for the 2011 Sweeping Generality Award.

    • It's certainly STUPID, but that's what I expect form you.

      • I take it those last two snarks had to do with my somewhat tongue-in-cheek reference to the springtime mating habits of the young university male.
        I will forgive Pat because she may have forgotten those times but Mike–you must remember when you joined the debating club …….hmmm, maybe you went to a few Reform meetings in the hopes of the big score—hey–wasn`t a certain frequent contributor around here in the Reform Party at one time.

  8. The LPC better beware of the student vote—most of the coaching within the universities comes from the NDP Profs and the NDP friendly Student Union.
    The female student appears to be more knowledgeable with youth issues than the males, who will usually go along with the vote mob in the hope of getting laid at the after-party.
    Is that too cynical ? Nah.

  9. Is it very hard to get on the voters list? Last I checked, you have to fill out a form AT THE POLLS and show some ID. This isn't fragmented like the U.S. where every state has different rules (and some you cannot sign up day of and vote!)

  10. In this election? I'm really not sure. Few of the policies or personalities that are being advocated by the major parties seem to have any real impact on youth.

    Perhaps, if someone talked about higher internet speed or removing download caps or something like that, you might get some action. It certainly worked during the UBB campaign. I thought the Liberals education passport thingy might have helped, but that really didn't go viral. Taxes aren't usually aren't high on their priorities, and creating a family is a couple of years off.

    So really, the Rick Mercer approach of making voting cool is probably the best bet. That, and having attractive members of the opposite sex and incorporating some sort of drinking game.

    EDIT: Although, if someone advocated for lower cellphone bills, they'd win the youth vote in a landslide.

  11. I keep hearing this talking point, but I can't remember a single professor from any class throughout my undergraduate and graduate degrees who advocated for a particular party or politician. Was my experience truly unique?

  12. You can get on the voters' list through the Elections Canada website, but even if you are not on the voters' list, you can be added at the polling station on election day if you have i.d.

  13. Nominated for the 2011 Sweeping Generality Award.

  14. It's certainly STUPID, but that's what I expect form you.

  15. My Canadian history prof used to scream about how CAnada needed to wake up and vote for the reform/alliance.

  16. The problem is that post-secondary students already vote at higher levels than other youth, and even if their participation levels increase further, they are only a small subgroup of youth as a whole, who will likely continue to vote at the low levels they currently do.

  17. The problem is that post-secondary students already vote at higher levels than other youth, and even if their participation levels increase further, they are only a small subgroup of youth as a whole, who will likely continue to vote at the low levels they currently do.

  18. I'm not suggesting it's hard. But if you're 20 and have had 3 different addresses in two towns since the last election, you might not know what to do — or how easy it really is. Especially if you've never gone through the motions of voting yourself.

    My question is a sincere and open one:
    What might get non-college youth to the ballot box on election day?

    Is it running "how to" commercials on HNIC or during a sitcom? Could we use cellphone bills / texts to distribute info and encourage voting? FB and Youtube could play a part, but how best to drive them there in the first place? And what messages might resonate?

    Whaddaya think?

  19. I had a prof who was a raving Libertarian, but he never once suggested I vote for a particular politician.

  20. Attended the University of Calgary in the early part of the last decade. My faculty was very anti-Con.

  21. I think Elections Canada could definitely see if the cel phone companies would be willing to send out a text about election day with a comment about how you can register at the polling station.

    And I would love to see more Elections Canada ads on TV.

    Good ideas

  22. In undergrad (history, if you must know), for my own amusement, I kept a running tally of any time a prof said something unsupportable and partisan in class in a way that strongly indicated their politics. It was hardly necessary for them to say the "Vote NDP" part out loud, it was so unsubtle. (Although I'll grant that a couple of the more angry granola-y types were probably in that dedicated cohort of Marxist-Leninist supporters in Ottawa Centre and Ottawa-Vanier.)

    I gave the notebook scoreboard thing up in law school. I wouldn't have had any time to take lecture notes otherwise.

  23. I take it those last two snarks had to do with my somewhat tongue-in-cheek reference to the springtime mating habits of the young university male.
    I will forgive Pat because she may have forgotten those times but Mike–you must remember when you joined the debating club …….hmmm, maybe you went to a few Reform meetings in the hopes of the big score—hey–wasn`t a certain frequent contributor around here in the Reform Party at one time.

  24. Interesting! My undergrad was in sciences, and my grad in economics. Perhaps it was during an inter-election period, but I probably could have done my tally on a post-it.

  25. There were girls at the "Young NDP" club in my high school. That worked. I still like girls, anyway.

  26. Any bets that if Harper gets a majority he will raise the voting age to 21. He will also allow massive increases in bandwith charges to discourage information sharing among Canadian citizens. As for getting young people to vote…maybe we need a young Egyptian to go on a cross Canada tour and talk about it!

    • He's doing fine with the disinformation already. No need to rock the vote.

  27. Any bets that if Harper gets a majority he will raise the voting age to 21. He will also allow massive increases in bandwith charges to discourage information sharing among Canadian citizens. As for getting young people to vote…maybe we need a young Egyptian to go on a cross Canada tour and talk about it!

  28. He's doing fine with the disinformation already. No need to rock the vote.

  29. One of my economics profs actually worked for Jean Chretien.

  30. Does anyone under 24 actually watch TV anymore? Maybe HNiC but other than that they're watching it without the commercials on the internet.

  31. Does anyone under 24 actually watch TV anymore? Maybe HNiC but other than that they're watching it without the commercials on the internet.

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