municipal government, political science, politics, canadian, youth, engagement
Social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube allow for the development of an online community for individuals to communicate and connect with others throughout the world. For this paper, social media outlets are understood to offer a solution to the ongoing issue of political disengagement found among youth between the ages of 18 and 34. Municipalities commonly experience low voter turnout during elections, causing a shift in candidates’ focus from traditional forms of campaigning towards the use of social media. The political disengagement among youth has been attributed to a lack of knowledge on politics and a lack of mobility during elections. As youth are the most active age demographic on social media, the use of these outlets has been understood as a solution to political disengagement. As a result, for this paper I have identified four main categories for analysis; which include, social media accounts used by councillors, municipally operated social media accounts, electoral turnout in municipal elections, and the average age of councillors. This paper uses these points of analysis to investigate the impact social media has on the level of engagement among youth in the functions of municipal governments.
Master of Arts