Canadian Arab Youth Vote 2015

Melissa Leigh Finn, Bessma Momani


In this paper, we seek to unpack some of the nuances about what motivated Canadian Arab youth to vote in the 2015 election and how their decisions inform the wider literature. How does the voting behaviour of Canadian Arab youth during the 2015 election support or challenge mainstream academic theories about ethno-cultural youth political decision-making and voting preferences? What concepts might help us better understand this rising demographic, its political animus, and its significance for Canadian politics? Of great interest in this paper is the investigation into whether voter apathy historically reported for young people and ethno-cultural communities continued to hold in the 2015 election. This paper critically interrogates what the 2015 federal election meant to Canadian Arab youth. We identify the predominant political inclinations of and issues for young Arab Canadians through the findings of structured focus groups. Our findings indicate that Arab Canadian youth were highly engaged with the issues of the election and apathy was the exception rather than the norm. Canadian Arab youth’s ethno-cultural background does explain their voting behaviour during the 2015 election, but bread and butter issues are also a concern for many young people.


Arab youth; Canadian Federal Election 2015; immigrant votes; ethnic minorities; voting preferences

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@Canadian Political Science Review (CPSR). ISSN 1911-4125