Young voters are not impressed

Categories: Big picture
Published on: April 6, 2015

The Tyee / Geoff Dembicki / 06 April 2015

JulieVanDeValk_610px[Julie] Van de Valk does not fit the prevailing stereotype of Millennials: lazy, apathetic and uninformed. She’s so passionate about global warming she spent a recent Saturday knocking on doors in Vancouver as part of a Storm the Riding campaign to raise awareness of climate solutions. But Van de Valk refrained that day from endorsing a specific political party. None of them, in her opinion, “are addressing climate change with the type of leadership that people who understand the issue want to see.”

Millennials like Van de Valk have become the largest demographic in North America. Study after study suggests 18 to 34-year-olds are more progressive than members of older generations on many issues — including climate change. Yet they’re the least engaged with the current political system. Less than 40 per cent of young people cast a ballot in Canada’s 2011 federal election. If 60 per cent had voted, pollster Nik Nanos has calculated, Stephen Harper likely wouldn’t have won a majority government.