Voter apathy is a big problem in North America, but social media is helping to spark renewed interest, and one party in Canada is even using chalk to inspire youth to vote. Who knew elections could be this creative?
Canada is right in the middle of an election (if you didn’t know) and unlike US Federal elections we kinda like to get it over with and done as fast as possible. In fact, we take about five weeks instead of two years; but we suffer from low voter turnout much like our cousins south of the border in the United States. It should be illegal not to vote I say, but that’s a different post. This post has a positive message in that there is a youth movement growing in this country to get the vote out amongst the 18 to 24 demographic who typically have the lowest turnout rates.
“According to Elections Canada, approximately 37% of youth (people aged 18-24) voted in the 2004 election, compared to the overall voter turnout of 60.9%. In the 2006 election, only 44% of youth voted, compared to 64.7% overall. Overall turnout is low because potential new voters aren’t opting into the voting system, not because experienced voters are opting out of it,” says Apathy is Boring.
In a press release yesterday about Apathy is Boring’s social media campaign to get the youth to the polls, we have some good news:
Over 190 000 Canadian youth have been invited by their friends to pledge to vote on May 2nd, 2011.
Through Apathy is Boring’s I WILL VOTE (http://on.fb.me/iwillvote2011) social media campaign over 190,000 youth have been invited by their friends to pledge, and 63, 000 of these youth have already pledged that they will vote on May 2nd 2011.
Research shows that if a young person pledges to vote and their friends know about it, they are much more likely to actually cast a ballot. According to a survey of young voters, the number one reason youth did not vote in the 2008 federal election was that they lacked the information they needed to participate.
Here’s an innovative video from the Green Party on getting out the youth vote. On the night before advanced voting, the Young Greens of Canada will draw 685 kilometers of chalk lines to remind Canada to vote. You can follow these green lines on April 22nd, 23rd and 25th to the advanced polls. It’s inspiring and nicely creative, and worth viewing no matter which party you decide to vote for. And remember: If you don’t vote you can’t complain.
“Apathy is Boring booth in Montreal” © Apathy is Boring
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