1. Young Canadians are increasingly seen as “political dropouts,” with participation rates in federal elections well below the 50% mark. What or who is most importantly to blame? Youth themselves? Political culture? Globalization and neoliberalism? Something else?
Henry Milner, “Are Young Canadians Becoming Political Dropouts?”
we must reduce the cost for people, and especially young people, of being sufficiently informed to cast a vote.
failure to adequately differentiate the two phenomena has impeded progress in understanding (dropouts/protestors)
Political dropouts are young citizens so inattentive to the political world around them that they lack the minimal knowledge needed to distinguish, and thus to choose, among parties or candidates.
Political protestors do not vote either, but, unlike the dropouts, they are sufficiently informed to deliberately forego traditional means of political participation — party membership and, especially, voting — and instead undertake unconventional forms of political engagement.
A simple American experiment using both political-interest and politicalknowledge questions showed that when asked the political-interest questions first, 75.9 percent of respondents reported following politics most or some of the time; but when they were asked politicalknowledge questions first, this percentage dropped to 57.4 percent (Schwarz and Schuman 1997). Similarly, posing knowledge questions allows us to distinguish between political dropouts and political protestors, since both will agree that “All politicians are the same” and that “No one party stands for me
Canada, as in the United States and the United Kingdom, bringing political protestors to the polls will have, at best, a marginal effect.
under-30s are much less able to name a political party that would be best at dealing with their number one concern. This finding is not...