The text below is an excerpt from the original article by Giovanna Mingarelli, published April 4, 2015 on The Huffington Post.
This year marks the 42nd Canadian federal election. In the current political context, it is generally understood that information is power.
According to the managing editor ofHarvard Magazine, Jonathan Shaw, in his recent article: “Why Big Data is a Big Deal,” with all of our digitally connected tools (from cell phones, social media assets, sensor equipped trains and cars), more data has been collected worldwide in the past two years than what has been collected in the past 5,000 years combined — this enormous quantity of information contributes to what we know as Big Data.*
However, this data is only made powerful when it can be properly cultivated, analyzed and shared with people who can take that information and make it actionable. This reality is important for decision-makers running the country, for political parties, as well as for our youth voters, among others.
In this context, there are 1.7-billion millennials in the world, with approximately nine million in Canada alone — these are people between the ages of 15 and 30. However, in the 2011 Canadian Federal Election, only 38.8 per cent of Canadians aged 18 to 24 voted.
According to Elections Canada’s 2011 National Youth Survey Report, the two main reasons cited by youth as to why they didn’t vote are: personal priorities (being busy with school, family etc.), or they didn’t have enough information about parties, candidates and issues.