Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Young Could Be Game Changers

The Canadian Press reports that pollster Nick Nanos and former Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page are working on a project to increase youth turnout in the next election. Nanos has gone back and looked at the data he gathered during the last election. He's reached some startling conclusions:

Just over 60 per cent of eligible voters actually cast ballots in 2011. Among those under 30, fewer than 40 per cent bothered to vote.

Working with Kevin Page, the former parliamentary budget officer, on a project aimed at engaging youth in the political process, Nanos has mined data from his daily polling during the 2011 campaign as well as research done for the Institute for Research on Public Policy to answer the question: What if 60 per cent of young people had voted?

His answer: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives likely wouldn't have won a majority.

But, besides affecting the outcome, Nanos believes that young voters would have influenced the debate:

More importantly, he says the political debate would have been more hopeful and would have revolved around a broader range of issues if young people had been more engaged in the process.
"What we find is that their concerns are much more diverse than older Canadians who are fixated on jobs and health care," Nanos said in an interview. "So if you're a younger Canadian, you're twice as likely to say that the environment is a top national issue of concern. You're twice as likely to say that education is a top national issue of concern."

His analysis also suggests older Canadians "are very cynical, they have less confidence in finding solutions" whereas younger people "are actually much more hopeful, have a higher level of confidence in finding solutions."

The Harperites must be looking at the same data. That's why they want to shut down Elections Canada's efforts to encourage voting.

The kids scare the Conservatives -- because they know they could be game changers.


Lorne said...

I read the article earlier, Owen, and I guess the challenge for us, especially as retired teachers, is to help figure out how to convince them that voting is worthwhile, and that they are potential game-changers.

The Mound of Sound said...

Great, now Nick and Kevin will have their "Enemy of the State" certification which ensures CSIS, CSEC and every other corrupted state security agency/force will have them in their crosshairs as suspected subversives.

Owen Gray said...

I suspect that both Nanos and Page know they are now officially on Harper's enemies list, Mound.

Wait a minute. Page is already there.

Owen Gray said...

My son and his wife were visiting us last night, Lorne. Just before they left, I told them that I suspected they would eventually have to take to the streets.

After they left, I asked my wife, "Am I preaching revolution to our children?"

Rural said...

Only if citizens, particularly our youth - the future leaders, have confidence in their ability to bring about change by democratic means can we avoid the 'revolt' that has occurred in so many other countrys. If Harper succeeds with his ongoing electoral fraud and suppression efforts I very much fear that 'taking to the streets' will ultimately be the only choice left!

PS I am fairly certain that the 'enemies' list contains those of us who express such views in our blogs, I hope your tax returns are all in order!!

Owen Gray said...

I note that various government departments read this blog, Rural. That's one reason chartered accounts do our taxes.

I stopped doing them myself about six years ago.

ffd said...

I am impressed by some of the younger people, like the Quebec students last year and Edward Snowden. I just watched Ed and his bot on TEDx talk in Vancouver entitled Here's how we take back the internet. Priceless, especially when Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the WWW,"shook" the bot's "hand".

However, unfortunately most people are uninformed and uninterested and don't appear to operate at much beyond an grade school level. The government would find it revolutionary if the average person simply expressed awareness and concern in written form.

Dana said...

Owen, perhaps you should give your lawyer/accountant/pastor/someone trusted a packet of documents to be opened only in case of your or your family members disappearance. Don't tell anyone who it is.

Perhaps we all should.

My trust of the Harperites is such.

Owen Gray said...

Unfortunately, that's true, ffd. Ignorance is this government's strongest ally.

Owen Gray said...

After Snowden's revelations, Dana, it would appear that we are all being watched.

It's cause for concern.

Anonymous said...

Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini were all dictators and control freaks. They all lied, deceived, thieved, were corrupt, used dirty politics, dirty tactics and all of them cheated to win. All of them were, sociopaths and paranoid for their safety. Harper is so paranoid for his safety, his security bill has doubled.

I would have thought? Justin Trudeau would gain the votes from the younger generation? The young people certainly do not like Harper and Harper knows that. Harper will use every underhanded tactic in the book, to prevent the young people from voting.

Last election, Harper sent his henchmen to storm Guelph University, to stop the students from voting. They even tried to steal the ballot boxes.

The young people have a web site called. Shit Harper Did

No, the young people have no use for Harper and his corruption, what-so-ever.

Owen Gray said...

The problem will be getting those young people to vote for someone other than Harper, Anon.