Let them vote

Wednesday, November 27 2019

This past week, Dogwood BC added their voice to that of the Union of BC Municipalities and the BC Green Party calling for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in BC.

This after delegates at the BC NDP Convention voted to lower the voting age to 16.

The last time the voting age was lowered was in 1992, from 19 to 18.

As pointed out by Alexandra Woodsworth, campaigns manager at Dogwood, ““Jurisdictions that have adopted voting at 16 have found that overall voter turnout goes up, and young voters are no less informed on the issues than older cohorts. Pairing civics education in high school with the opportunity to cast a ballot turns out to be a perfect recipe for long-term democratic engagement.”

Anyone who thinks those who are 16 and 17 are not prepared for understanding the issues - clearly hasn’t been talking with many of that age.

And let’s face it, given the current way politics is going in and out of Canada, voters over 18 haven’t exactly shown they understand all the issues either.

Given that the youth are the ones who are going to be living with the consequences of the vote, they should be able to actively participate in the actual voting - not just ‘fake’ elections in their schools. 

They’re allowed to drive. They can handle voting.

The BC NDP delegates, and the BC Green Party, clearly agree on this item. While they are still ‘playing nicely’ together in the minority government in Victoria, they should pass this legislation, and allow those who are 16 and 17 years of age to participate fully in BC politics.