Canada is a society built on the promise of democracy; democracy being defined as “government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.” In order to operate at full potential, the people of Canada must voice their opinions and participate fully in the political system. This is why it’s shocking to see that people are becoming less engaged in politics and the voter turnout has steadily been declining over the last 20 years. This lack of participation by Canadians is creating a government that is influenced by fewer people, which is detrimental to the democratic system Canada is built on.
Out of all Canadian age groups, the voter turnout for young voters is the most disappointing. In specific today’s youth are less likely to vote, less interested in politics, and know less about politics compared to all other Canadians. This brings about a great deal of concern, as young people are the future of this country, and are expected to uphold the expectations put on them by their older counterparts. Youth are still being affected by the consequences brought about by politics; they still go to school, get jobs, get sick, and so forth, so why is it that they feel indifferent?
Research has brought about an abundance of reasons why youth are becoming less engaged in the political process. Education, absence of political knowledge, the media and family influence, indifference to election campaigns, inadequate amount of change, and lack of motivation are all possible factors in influencing the youth voter turnout.
The younger the person the less exposure they’ve had to the world of politics, therefor the less time they’ve had to gather information in regard to politics. Research has proven a person’s level of education has a positive correlation with their probability of voting. The education system is supposed to provide youth with the life skills and knowledge that is associated with better community engagement. “In qualitative research with young Canadians, the point is often made that the sense of having incomplete or, worse, very little knowledge of politics and political issues is behind the decision not to vote.” (CPRN, 2007) In contrast youth who have recently moved due to relocating for school purposes are faced with more challenges when voting. They may feel as if they do not know enough about their new electoral riding and the candidates that are looking to represent them, so they avoid voting in general. As well they may not have the identification associated with their new electoral district needed in order to cast their votes.
As well some research has concluded that the media has a negative impact on young voters. The media tends to focus on the negative side of politics and is cynical of all politicians. It cultivates political cynicism by shining a light on only the negative parts of politics, whether it be...