MPA Major Research Papers

Date of Award

6-21-2009

Degree Type

Major Research Paper

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration

Department

Political Science

Supervisor

Agócs, Carol

Geographical Areas

Ontario

Abstract

This paper examines voter turnout as a proxy for civic engagement by applying the analytical lenses of Robert Putnam’s social capital theory and Richard Florida’s creative capital theory to test critical assumptions regarding the impact of size (population), diversity (immigration), creativity (education and employment), and mobility (length of residency) on voter turnout. A sample of 30 Ontario urban municipalities was analyzed based on data from the 2006 Census. The findings reveal that there is a negative correlation between voter turnout and population size and density; a negative correlation between voter turnout and non-official mother tongue and immigrant status; a negative correlation between voter turnout and creative field of study; a very weak negative correlation between voter turnout and creative occupations; a weak negative correlation between voter turnout and the number of new residents who lived outside the municipality one year prior; and a strong negative correlation between voter turnout and the number of residents who lived outside the municipality five years prior.


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