There is a momentum building for lowering the voting age to 16. According to many who are pushing for this to happen, it is a step in the right direction will ensure the greater participation of teenagers in the democratic process.
The latest backer for such a proposal is Stéphane Perrault, acting chief electoral officer who told a news outlet that changing the minimum legal age for casting a ballot is a “fundamental policy” change only Parliament can make and that it was “worth considering.”
“Voting when you’re 16 is voting at a time when most Canadians at that age are still in school, at a place that we can actually get to them and engage them,” he said.
“We know that Canadians who vote early in their lifetime will continue to vote, and those who don’t vote in the first few elections will tend not to vote later. So, there’s a real benefit to making sure that Canadians vote early, and voting when you’re 16, there’s an opportunity to reach out to them.”
While 18 is widely considered the “age of majority” in Canada, Canadians are granted other rights at age 16, such as the right to drive a vehicle.
In 2015, voter turnout among those aged 18 to 24 increased 18.3 points, to 57.1 per cent, up from 38.8 per cent in 2011.
But that was still lower than overall voter turnout, which was 68.3 per cent.
However, lowering the age of voting to 16 could end up being a huge voting bloc that could end up favoring political parties taking more liberal positions. – CINEWS