TORONTO, April 27 /CNW/ - With the federal election days away, a new
survey commissioned by The Historica-Dominion Institute compares youth
voter attitudes, issues and intentions to mature voters for an intimate
look at youth engagement in Canada, which hit a low of 37% voter
turnout in the last federal election.
The online survey of more than 800 youth and over 3,000 mature voters,
conducted by Innovative Research Group, asked respondents 30 questions,
including their likeliness to vote, top issues, voter intention and
voting values. The study includes tracking from 2008 and 2006 youth election polls.
The survey found that the youth agenda mirrors that of mature voters.
Over one third (35%) of young Canadians rank "my standard of living
will be lower than my parents" as their top concern, followed by fears
of "another economic recession" (18%) and "health care won't be there
for me when I need it" (14%). Environment (5%) and education costs (3%)
"It's essential that we understand what makes young voters tick," says
Jeremy Diamond, Director of Development and Programming at The
Historica-Dominion Institute. "If we better understand their views and
values as a particular yet diverse group, we are more likely to be able
to reach them and encourage them to have their voices heard."
Data shows that drivers of youth turnout included knowledge, parents and
voter values. The more youth know about politics, the more likely they
are to vote on election day: youth who discussed politics at home are
twice as likely to vote. Also twice as likely to vote are those that
see voting as duty rather than a choice (45% of youth and 77% of
Canadians). Youth who see voting as a choice increased 7% since the
last election (from 46% in 2008 to 53% in this campaign). Language is
also a key factor: 71% of young Francophones say they'll definitely
vote on election day versus 49% of Anglophone youth.
These findings are published in partnership with Maclean's, where complete results will appear in the April 28 Election edition
and on macleans.ca. Full results are also available at www.historica-dominion.ca.
Other key findings include:
A majority of young Canadians (53%) say they will definitely vote in the
upcoming federal election. This is 35 percentage points lower than the
national average (9-in-10 or 88%).
74% of youth believe that it is more important to volunteer in the
community than it is to vote.
A surprising number of youth (56%) believe politics are a good means to
A majority of youth (59%) agreed to some degree that "political parties
are more interested in slinging mud than in talking to me like an
adult" compared with 74% of Canadians overall.
Social media may not play as significant a role in reaching youth as
believed. Only 8% of surveyed youth used twitter regularly and a large
majority (78%) reported having no twitter account.
Ease of Voting is essential to engagement: if youth could vote online,
more of them would.
The Historica-Dominion Institute is the largest charitable organization dedicated to Canadian history,
identity and citizenship. Its mandate is to build active and informed
citizens through a greater knowledge and appreciation of the history,
heritage and stories of Canada.
SOURCE The Historica Dominion Institute
For further information:
Davida Aronovitch - Communications Coordinator
416-506-1867 x 222, (c) 416-460-3284