Voter turnout usually isn’t a point of pride in Canada. Especially among the youth.
In 2015, only 57.1% of eligible voters between the ages of 18 and 24 cast a ballot in the federal election. Meanwhile, almost 80% of those between the ages of 65 and 74 voted.
Looking to bring some equilibrium to the table, Elections Canada is enlisting a strategy that’s proven successful for such causes as Fyre Festival and Yeezy drops: influencer marketing.
As reported by the Globe and Mail, the non-partisan agency has launched a $650,000 campaign that will see 13 influencers attempt to make voting cool ahead of this year’s federal election on October 21. The influencers include Canadian Olympians, television personalities, singer-songwriters, YouTubers, and a gamer. Nothing like a Fortnite dance to have kids clamouring to the polls. The names of the influencers have not been revealed.
“Despite the increase in youth turnout in 2015, young people continue to vote at significantly lower rates than older electors,” an Elections Canada spokesperson said in a statement.
“Elections Canada’s research shows that young people, especially first-time voters, face significant barriers to participating in federal elections.”
Of course, a higher turnout among young voters will inevitably benefit some parties over others. A recent Abacus Data survey found the Liberals to have the support of 35 per cent, followed by the NDP at 24 per cent, the Conservatives at 23 per cent, and the Green Party at 14 per cent among those between the ages of 18 to 29.
The agency says it has guidelines in place to ensure opinions expressed by the influencers are non-partisan in nature. They are also forbidden to be associated with a party until one year after the campaign ends.