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L19 - Social Movements, Interest, & Participation

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Luc Turgeon

March 28, 2014 Social Movements, Interest Groups, and Citizen Participation Key words  Voter turnout  Civic engagement in Canada  Unconventional protest in Canada  Interest groups in Canada  Peak associations  Social movements in Canada  Policy communities  Lobbying in Canada Voter Turnout in Comparative Perspective • Canadian voter turnout is very low my international standards Why Lower Voter Turnout in Canada? • Simple plurality system – first past the post – people who vote for the less popular party in a riding know their vote ultimately won’t count • Canadian are misinformed or not informed • Young people don’t vote Why Lower Voter Turnout Amongst Young Canadians? • More apathetic • Less informed – no concrete classes in Canadian politics until university (elective) • Young people generally don’t have assets that are directly at risk through political decisions (i.e. the economy, mortgage, pension, etc.) • Life cycle effect (little evidence) • Generational effect – the problem is that 30 years ago, people of the same age voted more • No interest in politics – more exciting and less controversial things • Less civic literacy • If young Canadians don’t vote in their first 2 elections, they’ll make a habit of not voting • Decline in political engagement of high school graduates (especially young men) – no university Political Participation beyond Voting: Civic Engagement o Different forms of community involvement such as joining or volunteering for a political organization and providing voluntary and unpaid help to others.  Civic engagement  Civil society • Interest groups and social movements
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