Youth Voter Participation Down in Quebec

Youth Voter Participation Down in Quebec

A new and more specific study reviewing the 18-24-year old participation rate in the 2008 general elections.

This age group’s participation rate was estimated at 41.2% in the last provincial elections but the rate has dropped to 36.15% meaning that one young adult in three votes in Quebec.

The 41% of participation is, for some, appalling and preoccupying. The goal of this research was not to quantify the amount of students voting but rather to discover why certain people vote while others don’t bother. The research consisted of 1,000 respondents answering a post electoral public opinion survey.

Now, the elections’ general director is collaborating with a new research team and supplies results from more than 250,000 Quebec voters from seven general elections (1985 to 2008).

35,714 people are eligible to vote in the medium sample, which is more realistic.

The first study’s results underestimated the size of the problem.

It is an issue noticed since the end of the 80′s, save for a lapse from 1994 to 1998.

The researchers explain this as a generational replacement. At the same age, new voters vote less than in previous generations.

The only reason that could explain the upholding of a high participation rate, 57%, is because baby-boomers occupy the biggest part of the population and they vote more than any other.

The question remains: Why do the young vote less than in previous generations?

Obviously, when watching television and reading the newspaper, you cannot fail to notice our youth in strikes, voicing their opinions, and going against the government.

This shows that they have an interest in politics.

The 18 to 24 age group will represent about 10% of those eligible to vote this time around.

So, even though it is expected that this group will be more present in the upcoming September elections, it probably won’t have the anticipated result.
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LifeinQuebec.com staff writer

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