RAMEY, LAWFORD AND ROSE-KRASNOR: Why we should pay attention to the power of youth

Brock Adjunct Child and Youth Studies Professor Heather Ramey and Psychology Professor Linda Rose-Krasnor co-wrote a piece recently published in the National Post about the power of youth to create change. The piece was co-written with Heather Lawford, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Bishop’s University.

Ramey, Lawford and Rose-Krasnor write:

Youth turnout in the recent United States midterm elections was the highest it has been in 25 years. The midterms also saw the average age of congressional representatives go down by 10 years.

Likewise, in the 2015 Canadian federal election, 58 per cent of newly eligible voters turned out to vote, an increase of almost 18 per cent over the 2011 election.

There have been similar increases in voting among 18- to 24-year-olds in provincial elections. Dramatic wins in 2015 for the NDP in Alberta and British Columbia can be attributed in part to youth voting, because younger voters lean progressive.

Young voters in Canada have shown up for parties focused on issues that are important to their generation, in particular climate change, diversity, equality and the regulatory role of government.

Youth movements, in fact, are playing a role in voter turnout. The U.S. March for our Lives movement aims to end gun violence. The movement’s protests in March of this year attracted an estimated two million youth, and extended into the Vote for Our Lives campaign.

Vote for our Lives began by registering thousands of youth voters at the March for Our Lives protests, and carried the momentum into the midterms, likely playing a part in the youth voting surge.

Continue reading the full article here.

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