Youth Electoral Study (YES) - Report 2: Youth, Political Engagement and Voting - Conclusion and References

Updated: 20 January 2011

Conclusion

As mentioned earlier, the Discovery Democracy curriculum contains classroom exercises, some of which are very similar to the behaviours we have examined. It stands to reason, then, that if properly implemented, many of these types of programs will enhance political awareness and political engagement among young adults. These exercises can be valuable "hands on" experiences of democracy in action.

A true democracy requires active citizens who are committed to making that democracy work. This means that citizens often engage in political behaviour not because it is compulsory, but because they want to, often for the common good. We have demonstrated that there is a way to raise the level of political awareness and political engagement among youth.

In conclusion, this report has established, in a preliminary manner, that a wide range of political activities experienced in schools or during adolescent years in community organizations, can have beneficial effects on attitudes towards, and intentions to engage in adult political behaviour, such as voting. Therefore the experiences of young adults in secondary school are crucial determinants, as we see it, to the kind of politically aware and active citizens they become as mature adults.

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