Apathy is Boring’s Ilona Dougherty wrote this before election day, so now it seems prescient.
Why are young Canadians today casting ballots at approximately half the rate they did in the 1960s? The answer is surprisingly simple: because we aren’t asking them to vote. There is conclusive evidence showing that nothing is more effective at mobilizing voters than personal contact. Simply knocking on doors increases voter turnout between seven and 10 percentage points, and this is true among youth, as well. This type of on-the-ground, face-to-face mobilization played a decisive role in the victories of U.S. President Barack Obama in 2008 and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi in 2010 … Unfortunately, vote mobs aren’t mobilizing new voters either. Watch a vote mob video, and you’ll see hundreds of politically engaged students putting their activism on display. Meanwhile, thousands of youth are missing from the camera frame – the students who are busy studying in the library, or the young people who don’t attend a college or university. Those are the unengaged youth of my generation. They didn’t take part in vote mobs, and they’re not likely to turn out on May 2.