MA Major Research Papers

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science


Stephenson, Laura


Public engagement, specifically in the form of voter turnout, has been a topic of discussion in political science since its inception. With recent declines in voter turnout, especially amongst young voters, some experts have begun to fear a generational shift towards political apathy; a shift that could lead to a heavily apolitical society as the generations who value politics are replaced by those who do not. With this context in mind, scholars have been trying to understand what drives turnout, why participation matters, and predict the attitude and behaviours of the Canadian electorate. Through these queries, it has been found that there is a direct link between political knowledge and likelihood to vote. Those with higher levels of political knowledge and understanding have been known to vote more frequently, and those who do not vote have reported one of their main reasons for not voting as a lack of information or understanding. This grounding knowledge has led many to question and study the role that education plays in a citizen’s decision to vote. The following paper seeks to understand the role that Canadian high school civics curricula have played in shaping the likelihood to vote for the youngest voting bracket in the nation. With a research question that broadly asks, what impact does a Canadian civics curriculum have on youth voter turnout?, the following research paper will employ a qualitative document analysis to better understand the possible links between education and voting.