The Democratic Disengagement of Young CanadiansBook - 2010
Many political observers, struck by low turnout rates among young voters, are pessimistic about the future of democracy in Canada and other Western nations. Citizens in general are disengaged from politics, and young people in particular are said to be adrift in a sea of apathy. Building on these observations, Paul Howe examines patterns of participation and engagement from both the past and present, concluding that young Canadians are, in fact, increasingly detached from the political and civic life of the country. Two key trends underlie this development: waning political knowledge and attentiveness and generational changes in the norms and values that sustain social integration. As Citizens Adrift shows, putting young people back on the path towards engaged citizenship requires a holistic approach, one which acknowledges that democratic engagement extends beyond the realm of formal politics.
Much as in the U.S., Canadian elections have seen increasingly low turnout rates among young voters. Examining historic and current patterns of political participation, Howe (political science, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton) concludes that young Canadians are increasingly detached from the country's political and civic life, due mainly to their waning political knowledge and attentiveness, and to generational changes in the norms and values that sustain social integration. The author argues that there is no simple way to increase engaged citizenship among young Canadians, but that any solution to the problems must acknowledge that democratic engagement is not limited to the realm of formal politics. Distributed by UTP Distribution. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)