Chapter i - Introducation:
A) Statement of the Problem
The healthy political community that is existing within the Canada boundary is directly linked to the turnouts of voters in the country. it is seen that the percentage of voters are decreasing, which is disconnecting the citizens with their respective community. This has resulted in a loss for the civic duties and the distrust of the public among the process of elections. The youths and the elder people of Canada have been showing little or no interest in the public affairs, which is hampering the democracy of the country. They are in doubt that the proceedings of casting ballots after every four years will not affect the path of the decision for the government.
The young voters especially have shown less interest in the electoral process than the old age people, which is affecting the election turnout among the Canadian youths as well. The rate of decline in the volunteering process among the young voters is decreasing at a higher rate because of the discourse that is present in the political community within the country. Therefore, the problem does not lie with the voting process of the few people but the engagement of the few people in the daily life within the political community. The youths of the country are less likely to feel guilty about not voting than the older people, as they do not have the trust in the government that is required for the voting process. The youth voters lack the political knowledge that is required for them to decide during the time of federal and provincial elections. According to the Heather Bastedo, the education that the young voters will receive in the university will help them in finding an interest in the international and the national politics, which will increase their turnout. If the level of education is not enough, then the voters may find it difficult to participate in the voting process at the provincial level as well. The low rate of turnout among the young voters is not a problem in Canada but on a global scale scale as well, which is affecting the economy and the political scenario in countries like the United States, Finland and United Kingdom. In these countries, the turnout of voters may increase or decrease over the period because of the changing attitude among the citizens of the country or either the content of the message in the political parties. Therefore, the main inquiry will be to identify the decreasing turnout of voters that is related to the changes in the messages of political parties.
The mentality of the Canadian youths is that they find the election process to be meaningless after a certain period. The primary reason for this is the impact of globalization, which has made the economy to become more global in nature and the interference of the local governments are on a decreasing scale. The data, which was collected from forty countries including seventy-two elections showed that the countries that are more integrated towards the global economy cannot make any difference by influencing the people to vote during the elections. This scope of the study needs to be researched further so that information can be linked in a proper manner.
There is a high possibility that the process of elections does not matter to the youth as the differences between the party are becoming narrow gradually. For example, the left and the right wing parties in the country are beginning to merge with the passage of time so the ideologies are gradually becoming the same. The differences in their political parties are declining at a faster rate, which is not making an effect on the minds of the young voters. The differences between the parties are getting less on a constant manner in Canada, which in the 1960s and the 1970s were believed to be based on the pragmatic politics before the emergence of new parties. The Bloc Quebecois and the Reform Party in the 1990s along with the recently formed Green Party are all based on the centrist idea.
There is a decline in the participating factor of the youths in representing the parties are not based on enough evidences and is considered as a plausible hypothesis due to the changes that are occurring among the youth citizens on a constant manner. The changes with respect to socio-demographic and attitudes are the biggest factors of contribution for the low turnouts of voters in the Canadian elections.
One of the other contributing factors for the low turnout of voters is the factor of income, where it is seen that the low-income citizens are reluctant to take part in the polling process. The common perception that these citizens have is that the political parties do not speak to the groups that have low income and is concentrated mainly between the middle and the upper sectors of people with respect to income. There is however a lack of evidence about the correlation that is existing between income and the low turnout of voters. According to the statistics, it is seen that the unemployed youths of Canada will have a chance of participating less in the voting process that the individuals that are employed on a full-time basis.
One of the major influences that is being seen in the modern day is the use of internet in the daily lives of the youth, which has created an impact to boycott the polling process because if the atrocities that are being committed in other places of the world. The use of internet in the voting process can be considered but with the increase number of cyber-attacks, the right to cast one vote per person may be violated.
The years need to be considered as an independent variable, which will help me in providing some insights on the issues that may lead to low turnouts of voters. The dependent variable will take in to consideration the number of people who have turned out to cast their vote in the federal and the provincial elections in the specific years. Taking help of the scientific approach, I would like to reach to a conclusion that will help in solving the issues that are related to the low turnouts in the Canadian process of elections.
Purpose of the Proposed Research Study
The purpose of the study for the research will be to identify the factors that create an impact on the low turnouts for the Canadian youths in the election process. It will help in finding the factors such as the impact of income and the use of social media that restricts the voters from taking part in the process of elections.
Significance of the proposed study
The significance of the current research study will be to identify the factors that are responsible for the low turnout of voters in the Canadian elections. The study will help in analyzing the factors, which will help in the future studies as well that will be conducted by the other researchers.
The research process will be based oin the following hypothesis:
H1: Income does not create an impact on the low turnout of Canadian youths in the polling process
H2: The change in attitudes among the young citizens does not have an impact on the Canadian electoral process
Limitations of the proposed study
While the research was being conducted, the researcher will face many problems that will act as a hindrance in the process of the research study. The most important limitation that will be faced by the researcher will be the cost factor, which has to be curtailed in using the methods that will be effective for the collection of the data. The collection of the primary data from all the citizens was difficult, as it will involve high cost. The participants had to be reminded a number of times so that they would take part in the survey process. Another factor was time, which was limited in carrying out the entire research process in an effective manner. Most of the people cited that they were busy with work, so the interview process was taken over a conversation on the phone, which had delayed the process of research.
Chapter II- Literature Review
The primary objective will be to analyze the issues that amount to low turnouts of the young voters in Canada. The census will help in demonstrating the socio-demographic profile of the population that consists of the youths in Canada. The Canadian Election Study (CES) will be used for the complementary and the distinct purposes, which will help in determining the factors for the low turnouts of the youths.
Description of the Canadian youth
The youths are divided in to two groups such as 18-24 and 25-29, which has to be compared with 30-64 age groups. The socio-economic dynamics that will help in the study of the voting process of the youths are gender, income, and education, marital status of the participants along with the factor of employment and the religion and origin of the youths. Gender being the first criteria, it is seen that the men and women are almost balanced within each age groups. The ratio of men in the 18-24 is slightly more and the ratio of women in the age group of 25-29 and 30-64 is seen is at a higher rate. With respect to income, it is seen that there is a little difference in the household as most of the people earn an average of $40,000 per annum with the age group of 18-24 and 25-29. The percentage is lower when it comes to the age group of 30-64.
In the education sector, it is seen that 28 percent of the Canadians who are in the age group of 18-24 have a post-secondary education compared to 54 percent in the age group of 25-29.
It is seen that majority of the population have a negative attitude towards the voting performances of the politicians and the institutions that are involved in the federal elections. The public has a displeasured perspective with respect to the institutions and the politicians in general.
The main challenges
The issues that help in determining the participation of the youths in the voting process are based on different factors, which through several combinations help in determining the factors. The main challenges are:
1) Typical voters and the atypical youth
It is important to note that the youth do not represent the demographic in an uniform manner. The term is applicable to the young persons who are from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds with different levels of education along with various other variables. The youths are of the feeling that they are facing more challenges and pressures at their age than the preceding generations. The youths are expected to balance their life between family and school, which will help them in taking better choices for the future. The young people are of the belief that being interested in politics will be a waste of time as the role of government falls at the bottom of their list of important things.
Language is another factor, which has caused the youth communities not to take part in the voting process. It is seen that the dialect that is used by the Canadian youths differs in different communities, as for example the aboriginal youths who are living in the suburbs will have a different dialect than the youths who are living in the suburban areas. The Canadian culture is very different in different geographical locations. The difference in culture is the result of the upbringing of the youths who are born either in the suburban or in the urban areas. This creates a different perspective in their views with respect to the polling process in the Canadian territory.
2) The cycle of neglect
The neglect cycle is another challenge that is relevant between politics and youths. This is because the political parties do not give enough emphasis on the issues that arises among the youths. It therefore results in a sense of strength among the leaders of the parties and the various parties that the youths cannot associate with themselves. It is therefore seen that they do not consider the parties as valuable source of support, which is seen as less motivational influence to the young voters.
One of the criticisms within the established party and the electoral system is that it does not have any influence on the youths, which is the reason that they do not participate in the electoral process. Thus, it is seen that majority of the youths view the political parties as conflict of interests as they do not talk about the interests and the welfare of the young people. The youth wings of the political parties fail in attracting the youth population of the country, as they do not have the power to influence the policies that are formulated by the leaders of the parties. The youths have a notion that the political leaders are old and are mostly corrupt in their entire political career, which influences them in not taking active part in the electoral process.
The Canadian Government does not emphasize on the issues of the youth for their daily activities and the party elders often ignore the programs that are directed for the youths. This has caused a disconnection of the youths on a physical scale with the political parties.
The third challenge is that the mediating institutions help in exposing the young people to politics and the process of democracy that is followed in the country. In Canada too, there is an existence of these institutions, which are in the form of schools, clubs and associations. The informal institutions are inclusive of families, individual groups and group of friends who share a common interest between each other. These institutions help in imparting knowledge about the benefit of elections to the youths so that they can be attracted within the process of elections. It is seen that the young voters have an affiliation towards these institutions, which helps them in discussing politics that are related to current issues based on daily lives are more likely to take part in the voting process. The mediating institutions can be classified as:
1) Educational curriculum- The educational system with respect to civic right in Canada is very weak and the places where it exists does not help in influencing the passions or the interests of the young people in politics. This phenomenon can be seen at an increasing rate in the civics curriculum that is followed in the high schools, where the teachers help in setting up of debates among the students about the current political scenario in the country. Additionally, it can be seen that the materials that the teachers have with themselves provide a little overview of the government that is operating on a full manner within the country.
2) Association and Clubs- The youths of the country are active participants in the clubs, as they help in socializing with other people as well. These clubs during the process assists the youths by organizing debate workshops and other forums where they can participate and gain more knowledge about the current government that is operating in the country.
Use of technology
This is the final challenge that plays an important part in helping the Canadian youths to participate actively in the democracy of the country. the main problem with this type is that it does not help in active participation of the youths in the democratic processes but rather helps in implementing it in a simple manner. It is felt that the youths want the process of elections to speed up, as the use of technology will help in a better way. Two types of technologies have been identified as the issues for the research.
1) Hot technologies- This is the use of the new technologies that are associated with the youths such as internet and computers along with television and other sources of media. The Elections Canada project was based on the effective use of the internet and television for disseminating the information amongst the youths so that it can help in forming a broad electorate. It was seen that the youths of the country increased their level of interactivity with the help of these technologies apart from the process of information-out. The youths noted down the frustration that they had with the web sites of the government and the issues that isolated them from using these sites. Most of the people complained that the websites of the government were on the basis of the understanding the perception in which the youths use the information that is available in the web sites.
2) Review and Evaluation- The continuous process of feedback and the review and evaluation with the help of technology was implemented by Election Canada so that it can help in gearing the youth population towards a positive direction in an effective manner. The list of permanent voters has helped the government in streamlining the list of electoral within the country but it was seen that the youths of the country has great obstacles in taking part in the process of election.
These programs will help in attracting the youth generations to have a greater turnout in the voting process within the country by involving them in the process in an useful manner. These programs will be effective, as it is seen that the youths spend more time with their friends rather than with their respective families. This method is effective in nature, as these initiatives helps in countering the cynicism that is associated with the low participation of the youths during the elections. It also allows the youths to be involved actively in the process of serving the community, which allows them to establish a connection with citizenship and politics. There is a possibility that these initiatives will help the youths by aligning them in the best positions so that their messages can spread within their respective age groups.
The organizations that help the local youths are positioned in a better way, which helps in solving the issues of the youths for two reasons. Firstly, the youths of Canada consist of a heterogeneous group and secondly there is possibility that they would have a greater involvement in these organizations, which helps in solving the issues that arises at the local level. Among all the age groups, it is seen that the groups, which consists of the youths have a strong diversity that is related to intra-generation. The youths may identify the factors for non-participation in the elections in front of their social groups and peers so that it stays within them, which helps them in modifying the needs between their own groups.
It is seen that the present youths have a low participation in the electoral process but are more involved in volunteering activities among their own peer groups. Additionally, it is also seen that there is little comparison between voting and the voluntary work and there is no existence of similarity between membership of party and voluntarism. The youths have an understanding that there is a big division between the issues that are important to the people and politics. The involvement of the young people is increasing with activities like volunteering in the local and smaller organizations, which deals with the issues of the community. These people do not see the political institutions as effective enough, which tries to harness the power of these groups and helps them in commanding the allegiance of the people so that there may a greater participation from their end. The community groups at the grass root level tries to work with the youth so that the communication process becomes effective in spreading the message about participation of the youths in the process of elections. These efforts should not be based on the political opinions, as the young people do not respond to the party membership in a positive manner.
The youths of Canada are exposed to political views through the various mediating institutions such as the clubs, schools and the youth organizations, which helps them to socialize on a political level apart from the educational function that it has. These institutions need to impart the knowledge about civic engagement so that the participation of the youths in the voting process can be improved to a large extent. The civic engagement policies will help them in understanding the basic rights that is essential for the voting process, which will help them in getting a better understanding about the positive and the negative sides of taking active participation in the electoral process.
Utilization of best practices
Canada is not the only country that has issues with a low turnout of youth voters during its election process. This issue is being faced by other countries as well who has developed initiatives so that it can reach out to the youths and ask them to actively participate in the voting process. Canada also uses some of the techniques as best practices so that it can communicate with the young voters in an efficient manner so that they can be persuaded to take active participation in the process of elections. The government has taken the help of Elections Canada, as one of the initiative programs that will help the youths to get attracted towards the electoral process.
1) Election Canada as a driver- The programs that fall under the campaign is mandatory to be imparted to the youths with the help of technological advances and the related resources with it. This will help in communicating with the various stakeholders who are responsible for making a high turnout in the voting process within the country.
2) Elections Canada as a partner- The campaign program needs to work with partners such as the leaders of the communities and the networks that are associated with it. This will help in communicating the valuable information to the youths so that it can help them in taking active participation in the process of elections within the country. it will also help in raising the engagement of the civic duties among the youths so that it can create awareness among them, which will help in achieving a high turnout among the voters.
Chapter III- Methodology
Sample population/ subjects
The study of the research will be done based on the data that will be collected from a part of the population on a primary basis. This will help in thoroughly understanding the features that hinders the path of the Canadian youths to take part in the voting process. The sample size will be based on 100 participants who are youths and are currently residing in the country. They have to be citizens of the country who have the right to vote and not any tourists or students who have a visa for a limited period of time. This will help in ensuring that the data that will be collected from them will be authenticated and free from any pressures from the peers or colleagues.
Procedures and Research Methods of the Proposed Study
The purpose of this method will be to understand the methodologies that will be used along with the different methods that will help in the completion of the research process in a successful manner. The research method helps in analyzing the various datas that has been collected from different participants during the research process. This study will take in to consideration the primary as well as the secondary data. The primary data, which will be collected will be done through a thorough set of questionnaires, which will help in getting the responses from the participants in an easy manner. Some of the participants will be interviewed as well so that a detailed in-depth analysis can be done during the course of the research process. The secondary data will also be taken in to consideration, as there are many existing literatures in the form of information in different books, websites and journals, which will help in collecting the information of the previous researchers so that it can be compared. The secondary data has been already published, which will help in getting a better concept and the techniques on the low turnouts of voters in Canada.
The quantitative method of analysis will be used as it will help in executing the numerical values that are based on figures. It will also help in analyzing the variables, as it is easy to measure them, which will help in statistically improving the information based on the different numerical figures, which will be followed up during the research process. This type of research process will help in authenticating the data so that it can be constructed in an empirical manner.
The strength of this method is that it will help in authenticating the theories by testing those that are already existing in the literature so that the hypothesis can be tested from the data that is collected during the process of research.
The qualitative method will also be used, as it will help in observing the participants during the process of interview that will be conducted. The answers that will be collected with the help of this will help in providing a detailed description about the topic of the study. This research will help the researcher to get an in-depth knowledge about the activities of the population within the country and the reasons that contribute for those activities.
The researcher within the limits of certain policies will conduct the research so that it can help the process to be carried out in an effective manner. The researcher needs to remain calm while collecting the data from the participants so that they can provide the correct information. The researcher in no way will force the participants during the data collection process so that the data cannot be manipulated. The participants need to be provided with adequate time limit so that they do not rush in to providing the answers, which may hamper the study. According to the Data Protection Act, the researcher may be punished if the information that is provided by the participants is leaked somehow.
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