The kids are, you know, fine and stuff, I guess

Elections Canada has released its national survey of young adults. Three-quarters of them claim to be voting and they generally seem okay with the state of things.

There were reasonably high levels of satisfaction among the youth surveyed with the way democracy works in Canada, with 53% of youth being somewhat satisfied and a further 17% very satisfied. … A key difference between voters and non-voters was that voters were more likely to have agreed that the government plays a major role in their lives compared to non-voters (81% versus 62%, respectively).

Youth voters were more likely than non-voters to identify with a political party and to feel that by voting they could make a difference. Nearly all voters (95%) agreed that there was at least one political party that talked about the issues that they felt were important, compared to fewer (85%), but still a high proportion, of non-voters. When youth were asked whether they felt that by voting they could make a difference, 88% of voters agreed, compared to 72% of non-voters. Most youth, both voters and non-voters, disagreed that all federal political parties were the same (85% of voters and 76% of non-voters).

Setting aside the obviously dubious self-reporting of voter turnout, the report gets at what’s driving the decline in voter turnout: lack of knowledge, lack of interest, lack of relevance and, as Apathy is Boring has argued, a lack of direct engagement.

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