Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The Kids Are All Right: Voter Participation Rates Go Way up among Quebec Youth

Young people in Quebec voted in large numbers in the September provincial elections, according to a study reported today in both Le Devoir and The Gazette.

"According to the study, the biggest single increase in voter participation in the Sept. 4, 2012, election was among youths age 18 to 24," The Gazette story says.

"In 2008, only 36.15 per cent of voters that age cast ballots. In 2012, the number was 62.07 per cent, an increase of almost 26 percentage points....Voting was up among 25 to 34-year-olds, too. In 2008, only 41.83 per cent voted. This time around, 66.36 voted, an increase of almost 25 per cent."

Pretty impressive, it seems to me.  So is the difference between the headlines in the two papers.  Le Devoir talks about a "spectacular bound"  while The Gazette says the change is just "part of a return to the norm."  True, in the 2007 election, participation was higher than in 2008, when voters were not happy about being called to the polls after only a year.  But any way you cut it, this time the participation rate was higher than it's been in a long time, reflecting the rise in political awareness among all levels of Quebec society after the protests of the Maple Spring,

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