NCA Youth Policy Statement

Introduction:

The National Citizens Alliance (NCA) believes that youth participation in the electoral process is critical to the success of Canada, partly because youth are its future.

The overall decline in youth voter turnout since the early 1970’s (38.8 percent for youth between 18 and 24 in the 2011 general election) signifies the electoral non-participation of a significant portion of the Canadian adult people (over 3 million youth between 18 and 24 (18.4 percent of total Canadian population as 2011)).

The NCA believes that youth empowerment and knowledge are two significant ways to create a youth-positive political/electoral environment.

Political Knowledge

The NCA supports the following reforms of the Canadian provincial education system in order to provide youth with information regarding the electoral process:

● Encourage the creation of a non-partisan education programs on the practical side of politics and how youth can make change

● Encourage the further development of comparative government courses, extracurricular workshops and clubs in high school and post secondary schools

Elections Canada

The NCA supports the following measures for Elections Canada to address youth voter turnout:

● Continue to support Elections Canada in providing civic educational resources for elementary, high school, and second language students, subject to no overlap in curriculum

● Encourage non-partisan experiential learning about the electoral system through for example conducting mock elections

● Create a youth core in Elections Canada

● Collect comprehensive data on youth voter turnout, paying particular attention to comparative provincial turnout and changes in policies and the electoral environment for youth voters

● Redirect funding for research on understanding the factors behind youth voter turnout to the implementation of research findings on youth turnout

Youth Empowerment

The NCA supports the following measures that empower youth:

● Through the NCA’s Public Empowerment Act, encourage youth involvement through concrete mechanisms such as citizen-initiated recall and referendum that empower youth and all other voting Canadians

● Mandate that proposed legislative changes to the Elections Act include a brief discussion on projected five-year impacts of the changes on youth participation

● Create a federal online mechanism for youth input on what issues are important to them

Conclusion

The National Citizens Alliance believes that youth political/electoral participation is tied directly to the level of their public political empowerment. Only when youth are empowered so that their political voices matter during and after elections, will they have substantial reasons to let their voices be heard. The NCA is committed to empowering youth and all other electors in political decision-making and educating them in regard to their democratic rights, authority, and responsibilities. Political non-participation undermines democracy, and only empowers those individuals and organizations already with political power.

Created: 2014-08-16; last updated: 2017-01-09

The NCA membership voted on 2014-08-14/15/16. 100 percent of voting membership voted in favour of the Youth Policy Statement with a 100 percent quorum. These results satisfy the minimum 70 percent voting membership support and 50 percent quorum of voting membership required for adoption of policies as per the NCA Constitution.

The NCA welcomes feedback on its policies. Please send policy feedback to info@nationalcitizensalliance.ca

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