Young Canadians (Millenials and GenZs) make up over 40% of eligible voters. That’s the largest voting bloc in the country. But still, politicians think they can ignore young people and our concerns.
Why do Politicians think they can ignore young voters?
Historically, young people have made up a fraction of the electorate. Candidates for elected office rarely seek out young voters and when they do come knocking when an election has been called, their platforms and policies seldom speak to young people’s concerns. As a result, fewer young people vote than older generations, and politicians have continued to deprioritize young people and their concerns. There’s a negative feedback loop.
In the next 4 years, Future Majority will make sure that every politician understands that ignoring the largest voting group will be at their peril. When politicians, leaders, candidates, platforms, and policies reflect the priorities of young Canadians, millions more will enter the democratic process.
We need to disrupt the typical politician's calculus on which demographics to court come election time. Given our limited time and resources, we focus on getting more young people to vote in ridings that are most likely to be decided by small vote margins by any major party. 1,000 new youth voters in a close riding will turn the heads of every politician running for office. In a safe riding, where the likely vote margin could be 15,000 or 20,000 votes, we'll just be noise.
Over the last two decades, who forms government in Canada has often been decided by less than 20 seats. 30,000 new youth voters, across 30 ridings can make all the difference.
We see the greatest potential in mobilizing young Canadians who are passionate and motivated by serious action on the climate emergency, increased access to mental health services and more affordable rent and education, but who don’t see democratic participation as a way to make change.
These young Canadians are already engaged, but need real conversations from peers and trusted messengers on the link between their democratic participation and their concerns.
How We Do It
The most effective way to mobilize young people is through face-to-face conversations with their peers. Our activists and organizers facilitate these conversations which relate the importance of voting to the everyday issues that matter to them.
We train each of our activists to engage with their friends, classmates and colleagues around voting and the issues that matter to them - this is one of the most effective tactics in mobilizing unlikely voters.
Turning young people out to vote isn’t enough. After elections, we pack town halls with new youth voters we engaged to make sure newly elected politicians understand the priorities and concerns of young Canadians and that young people in their ridings are organized.
Future Majority is housed at The Ryerson Leadership Lab and is funded by the generous support of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, the McConnell Foundation, the Ivey Foundation, the Trottier Foundation, and the Jarislowsky Foundation, as well as individual donors.