2016 Undergraduate Awards

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Many democracies in developed countries are experiencing declining voting rates largely driven by the non-participation of youth. Focusing on federal elections within Canada, this study examines the socio-demographic differences between old and new voting generations as an explanation for the decline in youth voting participation. The propensity to vote for a Canadian under the age of 35 is modelled as a function of a series of adulthood indicators such as owning a household, marriage and having a child. Using Canadian Elections Studies data conducted between 1984 and 2011, the findings show that adult lifecycle events are largely positive determinants of individual level youth turnout. Thus, delays in the timing of adult life-cycle events negatively effect overall youth participation.


Image: “Ballot Box” by Laurel L. Russwurm. In the public domain.