Falling voter turnout: Is it linked to diminished civics education? (2006)

Lessons in Learning – January 18, 2006

Canada is one of many industrialized countries to see voter participation rates drop since 1990. Recent analyses suggest that the drop in voter participation is largely the result of very low turnout on election day among young voters.

The authors of this paper point to studies suggesting that young people are less familiar with basic political facts than their older counterparts; less likely to be interested in politics; less likely to read newspapers; and less likely to see voting as a duty shared by all citizens. All of these factors suggest that young people are not particularly engaged in the Canadian political process, and may explain why many young people do not vote.

One factor in this lack of interest may be the changes over time in the nature of citizenship education in Canada. In the early days of universal education in Canada, preparing young people to assume the rights and responsibilities of citizenship was the primary goal of schooling. However, as teaching math, science, and computer science takes on greater importance in Canadian schools, other subjects such as Canadian history and civics risk falling into neglect.

Schools clearly have an important role to play in producing politically knowledgeable and interested young Canadians, the authors say. Other institutions also have a responsibility to educate young voters about election issues. Elections Canada has developed a strategy aimed at increasing young Canadians’ understanding of the electoral process and their role in that process. Political parties are also being encouraged to take responsibility for finding ways to educate young voters.

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2013-04-25
APA citation
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL). Falling voter turnout: Is it linked to diminished civics education? 2006. Web. 30 Sep. 2020 <http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/lessons_learning/falling_voter_turnout/falling_voter_turnout.pdf>
Canadian Council on Learning (CCL) (2006). Falling voter turnout: Is it linked to diminished civics education?. Retrieved September 30, 2020, from http://en.copian.ca/library/research/ccl/lessons_learning/falling_voter_turnout/falling_voter_turnout.pdf
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