Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Young Want In

The data has been crunched and the trend is clear. In the last election, the young showed up in droves to vote. Susan Delacourt writes:

That future may have arrived already already — through the 2015 election — according to a new study out right now by Abacus Data and the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations. Youth turnout jumped by 12 percentage points between the 2011 and 2015 elections — and the study suggests that it may be time to stop labelling Canada’s young people as politically disengaged and apathetic.

The study’s report, titled “The Next Canada,” suggests that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may well owe his majority victory to the large number of people aged 18-25 who showed up at the ballot box last fall — and that this infusion of youth into Canadian politics may be here to stay.

After bemoaning the apathy of the young, the powers that be are taking note:

About 45 per cent of Canadian voters between 18 and 25 supported the Liberals in the 2015 election, the Abacus/CASA study found, while only 25 per cent voted for the New Democratic Party and 20 per cent voted Conservative. (Another 5 per cent voted for the Bloc Québécois and 4 per cent for the Green Party.)

It helped that the Liberals had a young leader. But they also were more attuned to the values of the up and coming generation. They want government to begin "creating job opportunities for them and making post-secondary education affordable. Like older voters, young Canadians are also concerned about the health care system and cutting taxes, too."

I suspect that climate change is also on the top of their agenda. The times they are a changin'. And the young want in.



Dana said...

Not even one passing mention in the budget about youth unemployment let alone any program suggestion or funding commitment. Mute and moribund on marijuana legalization while putting Bill Blair of all people in charge of the process. Obliquely demonstrating that they have no confidence in the capacity of youth to know what they want in the cowardly half measure Assisted Dying bill.

It looks to me like they're making the same mistake the dippers did in Quebec.

If the youth vote is not served by the Boy King and his courtiers what do you think they will do in 4 years?

Owen Gray said...

They will replace him, Dana. That's the message of the last election. We'll have to see if that message has sunk in.

ron wilton said...

I can only hope that the youth who see JT as the way to go are savvy enough to not confuse the faux Liberal party here in BC with the JT Liberals in our election next spring.

Christy Clark is a dyed in the wool harpercon and if allowed to maintain her present course will have succeeded in doing to BC what harper tried so hard to do to Canada.

Dana said...

I think it just as likely that they'll simply withdraw from the process in disillusion.

Today Jane Philpott, whose Ministry should have taken the point on this from the get go, announces that marijuana legislation is coming in the spring. Given the weak tea of the assisted dying legislation I'll reserve judgement until it's tabled. However if arrests and trials continue in the meantime that will be a strong signal that they're just as two faced as we've come to expect.

Owen Gray said...

The BC Liberal Party is anything but Liberal, ron. Let's hope that the young have inherited Holden Caufield's ability to spot a phony when they see one.

Owen Gray said...

The Assisted Dying legislation was always going to be a tough call, Dana. But I agree, the marijuana legislation should be a lot easier to craft.

Lorne said...

My fondest hope, Owen, is that the re-engagement of youth in the last election is just the beginning of their interest in who governs us. As I have said before, it is only when they know they are being watched by an engaged electorate that governments are even remotely responsive to the people.

Owen Gray said...

And, when governments know that the youth cohort can swing an election, Lorne, they'll start asking the young what they want in terms of policy.

The Mound of Sound said...

I agree with Dana. It's one thing to welcome young people to the political process but we need them in the front row and at the head table. They're going to face challenges of a magnitude we have never known and we're the pilot who has no chance of being around for the landing. There has to be a transition far sooner than any we or our parents experienced.

Owen Gray said...

I agree, Mound. They will face a witches' brew of problems which we have left them to solve.