The youth vote could oust Harper’s anti-environment Conservatives. Although polls in the days before the election indicate that the Conservatives are losing ground to the NDP, that shift may be even more pronounced than the results suggest. National polls of party preferences, draw upon the views of people with land lines. However, the majority of 18 to 24 year-olds use cell phones so they are not counted in polling results.
At the very least young people are likely to foil a Conservative majority. If the youth vote doubles from 2008, it is entirely possible that the NDP or Liberals may form a minority government. If the youth vote triples, we may even see an NDP or Liberal majority.
Canadian youth are strong supporters of the environment and many hold staunch anti-Conservative views. Vote mob websites, and opinion pieces in university newpapers single out Conservatives for criticism, not the Liberals, NDP or Greens. The environment is an important issue for many of those who organized vote mobs. A number of these people have been actively involved with the progressive environmental action groups like 350.org.
No one can be sure exactly what percentage of those participating in vote mobs will actually cast a vote, but by the end of election day we may find that the youth vote has been vastly underestimated by the pundits and the pollsters.
© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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