Political Tribalism

  • April 10, 2016
  • 1:15 pm
  • Hart House Debates Room, 2nd floor

There was a time when political affiliation was passed down through generations, when families stood by political parties through thick and thin. Today, young people are turning their backs on partisanship labels that would have them waving Liberal, Conservative or NDP flags. Youth regularly refuse to devote themselves to a single camp (only 1% of Canadians are members of political parties) and make their decision on election day, perhaps casting a strategic or single-issue vote, if they vote at all.

How are political parties responding to this new reality and working to garner the long-term support of Canadians? Is keeping options open good for democracy? Does partisanship increase with age? Can parties still win the allegiance of this youthful cohort, which will eventually make up the majority of voters?

Spur brings together a panel of politicians, journalists and pollsters to hash out the details.

David Alexander will provide a short performance prior to this event. Mr. Alexander’s performance is made possible thanks to the support of Access Copyright Foundation and the RBC Emerging Artists program.

  • General admission: $15
  • Students (with valid ID): $10



Spur is a national festival of politics, art and ideas and is a catalyst for change in Canada.

Through nationally relevant and locally nuanced discussions, presentations and performances, the festival seeks to spur its participants to action on issues affecting Canadians. Feisty, multi-partisan, forward-looking, and solution-driven, this national railway of ideas will provide Canada with vital new cultural infrastructure for the 21st century.

Founded in 2013, the festival has already grown from three to five Canadian cities, with plans for further expansion across the country. Produced by the Literary Review of Canada in partnership with Diaspora Dialogues, Spur prides itself on its community partnerships, cultural connections and a focus on accessibility and diversity.

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