Over the last 30 years, Canadians have watched with concern as voting rates among younger people have declined, with the result that in the 2011 federal election, the majority of young people opted not to cast a vote. If the number of non-voters increases, the legitimacy of Canada’s democratic process may someday be called into question. Besides, if groups of Canadians are not considered to be interested voters, will political parties and leaders prioritize their views during and outside of elections?
The low voting rate among younger Canadians is often viewed as evidence that young people today are more apathetic or lazy than any other generation before. That—more than other generations—they don’t care about politics and aren’t interested in the world.
“Message Not Delivered” debunks these myths. In this report, Samara Canada—a national charity dedicated to reconnecting citizens to politics—compares political participation and contact rates between citizens and Canadian political leaders across three age groups.
Read the report below or download the PDF here.
In 2013, Elections Canada asked Samara to explore what we know about how political parties engage young people in Canada and in similar countries. Why? Election Canada's National Youth Survey Report showed that, among young people, the likelihood of voting was 15 percentage points higher for those who were directly contacted by a political party or candidate than for those who were not.
The result was a literature review on party engagement of youth in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Finland. Below is a summary of some of the key findings.
Read more and download the report here.