British Columbia is known to be a progressive province, but could it be the first province in Canada to lower the official voting age?
The leader of the BC Green Party, Andrew Weaver, sure believes so, as he has put forward a private member’s bill, for the third time, that would lower the voting age in BC from 18 to 16-years-old.
“Elections BC announced that only 56.24% of 18-24 year olds and 46.35% of 25-35 year olds voted in our last provincial election,” said Weaver
Weaver thinks that BC should follow the lead of countries like Argentina, Austria, Brazil, and Scotland that all currently have a 16-year-old voting age. He says that the evidence from those countries, “shows that enfranchising these young voters has led to substantially higher levels of political participation.”
The BC Green Party says that 16-year-olds are “old enough to drive, pay taxes, and sign up for the military. They are also the leaders of tomorrow. They should have a say in the direction we are heading, as they will inherit what we leave behind.”
Maybe BC and Canada should be looking at involving more youth into the political process which could lead to a lifetime habit of voting.
“Take this chance to strengthen our democracy and lower the voting age to 16,” Weaver concludes.