September 24, 2015

Dear Division 16,

One of the issues that faces Canada as a democracy is the issue of low voter turnout.  Over the years, fewer and fewer Canadians vote in elections at all three levels of government.  In math, we have been looking at some of these statistics and making inferences about why numbers change over the years.

Low voter turnout is especially high among young voters, those between 18 and wr years of age.  Elections Canada estimated that in 2011 less than 40% of voters between the ages of 18-24 voted in the Federal Election. This is the lowest group.

Figure 3: Estimates of Voter Turnout by Age Group, 2011 Federal General Election


In order to change this trend, many organizations have been working hard to encourage youth to get out and vote.  These organizations have tried many different strategies, including the Student Vote program we participate in here at Dickens. I’ve listed the links to some of these below.  Please take a few minutes to either visit the websites of those organizations and look around, or to read the article about the strategy.

http://Get Your Vote On

For your homework, please think about your experience as a Canadian Youth.

What factors do you think are the most important in encouraging Canadian youth to vote? 

Choose one or two that you believe are the most important and include in your answer:

  1. Do organizations or strategies like the ones described in the links above help?  Why or why not?
  2. Do you think there is a particular issue that can inspire passion in young voters? What might it be?
  3. Do you think you will vote when you turn 18?  Why or why not?

If you know of any other youth voting organizations, please include their website in your response!

I look forward to your responses,




  1. Amythest

    3. I think that I will probably vote when I’m eighteen. I think that because now that I’m going to do the student vote I will know what it is like. Also now that we’ve been talking about it in class a lot I know how important it is to vote.


    #3 I think that I will vote when I turn 18 because I think that it is important to contribute to things when get the chance to. When you have this opportunity to get a say in who your voting for then you should do it because you get a choice about who you want in charge.

  3. Rouge

    #1 I think that the voting websites can have a big impact on youth. Like the app that shows you where you can vote and information about the parties and their leaders. I think that it makes voting easier for everyone, especially youth and that it can encourage lots of non-voters to get out there and vote. I also think that the organizations at universities will help because that is where the age group of people are, who mostly don’t vote.
    #3 I will defiantly, for sure, and absolutely vote when I am 18 all the way through my entire life. I think that it is extremely important for people to vote because you get to help make decisions on issues that will affect you, your friends, family, and everyone in Canada. There are no more excuses to not voting, voting is now convenient, friendly, and effective. Also do you know how many places there are dictators, or rules about women not being allowed to vote. It took so long for women to get the right to vote in Canada and that is only because strong, and empowering women stood up for us and now we can vote, so don’t waste it.

    • dickensdiv16

      Rouge, thank you for responding with such care and such passion. I think you’re right that information really can make a difference for people in terms of their confidence as voters. I’m really happy to hear that you think voting is convenient, friendly and effective. I think it’s always a good practice to know and use your rights whenever you can. I think democracies are strongest the more we all participate.

  4. The Bean

    #1 I think that organizations like these will help a lot of youth to vote but it depends on how well the word gets spread around. One strategy I think is really affective, especially around youth is social media. I did a little research and it turns out that 75% of internet users between 15 and 25 years old use some form of social media. If that age group sees those sorts of messages on social media they would be more inclined to pay attention than if they were in say,the news. I think spreading information about voting would definitely help increase the youth voting population. One really big that encourages me to vote when I’m older is knowing that I’m getting a chance to have a say in a really big decision. Also if kids were more educated on some election topics that affect them that would motivate them to vote.
    #3 I definitely will be voting when I’m legally able (although in my case I’ll be 20). I think participating in the student vote really helps me learn more about the whole government system and all the issues within it. Both of my parents are also voters and are always engaged in whatever is going on in the election. I always like having my voice heard and being part of decisions so I’m looking forward to 2023!

    • dickensdiv16

      The Bean, I really like your thinking in #1. I wonder whether seeing elections issues being spoken about positively on social media will encourage youth to vote, and I hope that your generation will lead that charge. Do you think that the traditional media sources reach out to youth? I like your connection to having family and friends who are voters and the way this also influences the perspectives of youth!

  5. dancing porcupine

    3.I will definitely vote when I am 18 because after learning about it in class I know how important it is and what kind of impact it will make. I think that voting is a great opportunity that we get so I think that people should take advantage of that and vote.

  6. balloongirl123

    3 I think I am going to vote when I eighteen because I am to young to vote but it is still good when I am learning a lot about voting so when I am eighteen I can vote

  7. crazymemeslol123

    #3 I think I will vote when I’m 18 because I need to feel why I need to vote is there a purpose for me to vote so I need to know what it feels like voting in young ages when I’m 18 I’m gonna be sure that I’ll vote

  8. vid30 g@m3r

    3# I know for sure I will vote when I turn 18 because everybody should go out and vote for who they think would be a good leader. And voting is the 1# way to do that. If young people didn’t vote, they would not understand the importance of doing so.

  9. Crazychicken lover

    I think that i will defenitly vote because i wont take for granted the right to vote because many countrys cant vote because they have other types of government and they dont have chances like us to be able to vote and we are basicly abusing that right if we dont vote. The world isnt always fair so we should show the rest of the world that we are people who care about the world . So we can make a diffrence because voting is so important to do because if you dont the country might fall into chaos, or have horrible economic outbreak like last year, then vote. Its just that simple .

    • dickensdiv16

      Crazychicken lover, I love the connection you’ve made between having a healthy and active citizenship and democracy! I think it’s really interesting how you are thinking about voting as a responsibility that supports a stronger country! Well done!

  10. smeagaleater10

    3# I think that i’m going to vote when i’m eighteen. Part of the reason is voting giving you a voice, the voice provides the polls an informed decision on my opinion. The second reason is that I want to be part of democracy.

  11. ginger

    We are very lucky to live in a democratic country, where, when we turn 18, we have the choice to vote for whatever federal party we want, not based on our race or religion. I think that it is very sad that the voter turnout for the ages 18 to 24 was the lowest of all the groups because that is the age when we have the freedom to vote. I think that young voters might not be voting because much of what the candidates are talking about on TV and in the newspapers is not interesting, or obviously relevant to their lives. I think that if the federal party leaders talked about things that are more relevant to younger people’s lives such as the cost of university education, job opportunities for young people and global warming and the environment, younger people might pay more attention to politics. I think that these things impact the lives of younger citizens more than the economy or foreign affairs. When I turn 18, I am definitely going to vote in every election I can because I think that having a say in the world around me is a right that everyone should have.

    • dickensdiv16

      Ginger, I really like your point about how our vote is not linked to race or religion. As you know, in Canada, all citizens over 18 can vote. Do you think that this is sufficient? I am also curious about your point that the issues may not be relevant to youth. Do you think that we maybe aren’t doing a good enough job of showing how healthcare or immigration (for example) impacts youth? If so, how can we open those concepts up to illustrate their impact on everyday Canadian youth?

  12. den10@sea43

    3# I will DEFINETLY vote when i turn 18 because of student vote has helped me understand how important voting is because this person will be you leader for lots of years. #2 I think that young people are not voting because they worry that they don’t know what they are doing and vote for the wrong person

    • dickensdiv16

      Great, den10@sea43, you’re right! The results of an election are a long term commitment we all make by way of voting (or not voting!). I really like your insight into the reason why some youth might not vote. Do you think the organizations I listed in the assignment could help solve that problem?

  13. baconguy

    #3.I will vote when I am 18 because it’s not something small that depends on how good they look or what shoes their wearing. Voting let’s you say who you want as the prime minister. You could make a huge impact on the election, so why not vote at your first chance?

  14. TechNerd

    #3 I will definitely vote when I am 18 Years old. I will never waste my vote, every vote counts and makes a difference and that is why we all need to get out there and vote. Not just that but we are extremely lucky that we get to and are allowed to vote. 18+ Should definitely vote as they are allowed and are not restricted. In some Country’s Women are not allowed to vote at all, In some Countries Faces of Dictatorship are still the case and nobody is allowed to vote and nobody has a say. In Canada everyone has a equal say and everyone is allowed to vote, Canada is a Democratic Country not one that is nobody has a say, We should all get out there and vote and learn about all the Candidates. I will never waste this opportunity to vote when I am 18 I am 100% Sure I will be voting and learning about all the Candidates.

    • dickensdiv16

      TechNerd, many people think their vote doesn’t make a difference but if all of those non-voters showed up at the polls they would make an enormous dinner! I have no doubt that your convictions will make you a voter for your whole life.

  15. THEMANGO404

    #1 i think that organizations that help youth eligible to vote are really important because it showed in the chart that only 38.8% of people between 18 and 24 voted. I think that organizations like these should go province to province encouraging people to vote. I think that people that are old enough to vote should vote because it is important for everyone in Canada to have a say of who is going to be the prime minister. And college students should vote because they could decide on someone who could help make college tuition go down.
    #3 I think that I am definitely going to vote because I could vote on someone that I think is worthy of being elected. And if they’re elected, the person I voted for would be someone that would benefit me. Also, all candidates for prime minister have ways of doing things that I would probably like but I would choose the person that would choose the person that would choose the best way of achieving those goals. For example, the conservatives want to lower taxes on houses to make things more affordable and the liberals want to have different taxes based on how rich or poor you are so when the middle class does well, so does everyone else. In this scenario I would chose the liberals because I think their way more fair.

    • dickensdiv16

      THEMANGO404, this is a very thoughtful response. Your comment about college students being affected by tuition makes good sense. I wonder whether voters relate the most to issues that affect them directly? I also like your thoughts on how it’s not just the goals but the roadmap of the candidate that matter when we consider who we ought to elect.

  16. super cheese cake

    #1 Those strategies do help. Like APP who lists out the info of candidates in your district . It helps you think about who do you have in mind and gives you some easy ideas about the candidates . So you won’t get too confusing to vote.
    #3 I think we should vote when we’re 18 because when we’re 18 we’ll have enough experience and we’ll have our own thoughts. We’re doing student vote and so we know what it feels like to vote . Also we’re talking about it at school that help us know how important it is to vote.

    • dickensdiv16

      Great, super cheese cake. Information is a great way to connect people to voting. I’m glad that you feel like this study will give you the tools to be a voter when you’re 18, although I think you already have your own thoughts now!

  17. The Baconator

    #3 When I turn 18 I will vote because it seems fun to be able to share your opinions and be a part of an important situation where people get to choose someone to run the country. Each party has something that they would like to change in the country. It is your choice to decide who will run the country. A lot of people work in the process of voting so to be a part of it, it is an honour. If you don’t vote, you will regret not being a part of something that most people participate in.

  18. The Baconator

    I think that the organizations that help young people really do help because it gets people ready for voting. If you don’t know how to vote then it might be really hard and not fun at all. if you don’t want to go to an organization to learn about voting think about this, people are using their own time to help you.

    • dickensdiv16

      I love it that you are looking forward to sharing opinions and being part of things. It’s a pretty incredible way to make change. I think you’re right that it could be overwhelming without knowledge and practice, but in my experience, there is always help from people who are passionate about it!

  19. xaxo6 04

    I think that these organisations really help and I hope that they can really make a difference when it comes to young people voting. I especially agree with the youth progress site, their plan to help young people is a very exciting one. Also I am particularly thrilled about how they are trying to send a message to politicians to get young people voting with propaganda. I think that sites like these will help. I think that if young people see their friends voting they will want to vote as well, so it sets of a voting chain reaction.

    • dickensdiv16

      Interesting! Do you think that seeing role models vote and finding ways to help people engage with the democratic processes will encourage greater voter turnout? I love the idea about the voting chain reaction. I feel like that has happened even within Dickens Elementary!

  20. SoccerBoyABC123

    i will definitely vote when i am 18 because i think that it is very important to vote because you get a voice and a sat in whose going to be your prime minister or who is in the house of commons . now that i know even more than last year ithink that it will be cool to vote for real and i will encourage all my friends and family to vote .

  21. Shadow145

    #3 I think I would vote when I am 18 because I wanna contribute to anything that’s important and vote for the right person to b the prime minister of canada

  22. Joaquin

    I think that we need to talk about the importance of voting from a very young age and practice voting whenever possible; like class rules, class pets, picking games etc. My grandparents left Chile because of the dictatorship of Pinochet, they left all of their family and friends- their lives. I think that if more people shared their family stories about political impacts on their lives then more young people would vote because they wouldn’t want that to happen to them here in Canada. They would use their right to vote to keep Canada as a democracy.

    I will vote when I’m 18 because I want to have a say in what I want Canada to be like and BC. Voting is a privilege that not all people have in the world, if we do not use the right to vote, we are basically telling the government that we don’t care what they do and that we do not want to have a voice. Also voting is important to me because of what my grandparents went through in Chile and when they came to Canada as Political Refugees.

  23. PandaTush

    3. I will vote when I turn 18. I want to be able to have my say in this democracy and it’s a great thing to think about when your older. student vote has introduced me to the world of government and democracy. It’s really helpful because you learn what to do now and when you turn 18 it gives you the boost and enthusiasm you need to get out there and vote. I can’t wait till I’m 18! (I’m so jealous of my parents).

  24. Koshka2

    I think that 18 is a important age to vote, because if you do student vote like most classes you will have the knowledge to do when you Vote! If you would of have voted at this age, you would not know what needs to be done in the world, the cash and what it takes to vote the right person!!! If were the age ‘ 18 ‘ now, I would vote for the right person for the world, cash, (hopefully someone to help the Poor) and that is willing to someone ,right for this Wonderfully World.

  25. Sr.Fruitcake

    #2 I think that an issue that effects the younger voters may be that a lot of them have not had the experience we have and don’t know how much voting can change their lives. Maybe they don’t understand that their decision not to vote is a decision not to help and change the city.
    #3 I think that when I am eighteen I will vote for sure, I think that making a decision to vote is important and gives you an ability to change what’s around you if you’d like change and vote to keep it the way it is if you see fit

  26. iron lanturn

    #3 im deffently going to vote when im 18 because its relly inportant to vote
    when your young because then it gives you a choice to vote
    And now that where doing student vote i feel
    much better about voting.

  27. Arctic owl

    #3 i will vote when i am 18 because then i have input in who becomes leader. and it is very important to vote because if no one at all votes then how will someone become primister .

  28. the DUDE

    I would recommend voting because in other countries there are very few rights. The basic person does not get to vote, and this is wrong. We should take this privilege. We have to show young people that when you don’t vote we might have a crappy Prime Minister. You won’t be able to say, “I hate him or her; I didn’t vote fro him/her,” because you didn’t vote for anybody. I will definitely vote when I am 18 because although it can be stressful trying to figure out who to vote for, you feel very responsible and good when you do vote.

  29. Purple Pickle

    #3 When I turn 18 I’m definitely going to vote because I want to support my county and have a voice about who’s going to be our next leader. If somebody i don’t like gets elected then I have a reason to complain, therefore if I didn’t vote I would have no reason to complain at all. Even though you might not think your vote matters that much it does! if everybody thought that way we wouldn’t have a leader for the next four years!!!

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