Professor Paul Howe examines the electoral participation of young Canadians through a review of the literature and analysis of Canadian Election Study data from 1974 to 2004. In particular, he focuses on three key areas:
- The distinction between habitual non-voters, who never vote, and intermittent non-voters, who vote sometimes but not always. The study shows that young people are increasingly becoming habitual non-voters.
- The importance of looking into political socialization processes in late adolescence, when young people are approaching or reaching voting age.
- Administrative facilitation and mobilization of voters. Particular attention is paid to recent innovative research in the United States that uses experimental methods to gauge precisely the impact of different mobilization techniques. Applying these or similar research methods in Canada would enhance our understanding of the efficacy of various outreach methods… Continue reading »
The study also reviews best practices in elector outreach in various jurisdictions – in Canada and abroad – and applicable lessons learned.
For a complete analysis of youth participation in Canada, see also Dr. Howe's 2010 book Citizens Adrift: The Democratic Disengagement of Young Canadians.